Pergola in Luotuowan Village — Reuse of Wood Waste from Renovated Old Village Houses

Bao Ding
Aerial view of the northwest corner
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Aerial view of the road
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Front view of the north entrance
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Kids playing under the pergola
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Kids runninging under the pergola
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Kids sitting on the stone pier
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Kids skipping ropes under the pergola
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Light and shadow at noon
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the mountain
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the north
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Looking to the south entrance
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Night view
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Night view
Photo © Jin Weiqi
People walking under the pergola
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Pergola interiors
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Side view of the north entrance
Photo © Jin Weiqi
South entrance at nightfall
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the interiors
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the southwest side
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Upward view of the northwest corner
Photo © Jin Weiqi
Axonometric drawing
Drawing © LUO studio
Analysis of the wood waste
Drawing © LUO studio
Construction details
Drawing © LUO studio
Contrastive analysis
Drawing © LUO studio
Elevation of the road
Drawing © LUO studio
General floor plan
Drawing © LUO studio
Process of combing the components
Photo © LUO studio
Villagers are processing the discarded wood
Photo © LUO studio
Architects
LUO studio
Location
Bao Ding
Year
2018

Pergola in Luotuowan Village — Reuse of Wood Waste from Renovated Old Village Houses

1. Wood waste remained from demolition and construction
Located at Longquanguan Town, Fuping County, Hebei, Luotuowan Village borders Shanxi Province, at the foot of the north side of Taihang Mountains. Surrounding mountains resulted in poor transportation to the village, which held back the village’s economic development and caused an increasing number of dilapidated houses. In recent years, however, the local government has allocated plenty of financial and material resources to renovate and construct houses in the village and help it shake off poverty. After unremitting efforts, quality of villagers’ life has been gradually improved. Before the renovation, villagers were allowed to choose a traditional wooden roof or roof made of cast-in-situ concrete for the house. The latter solution was more preferred because it was easier to implement and most of residents here were middle-aged and elderly people. During the village revamping process, a large number of wooden beams and rafters were dismantled and left over. Previously, the wood waste had been used to make a fire for heating and cooking. But in these days, due to the call for ecological environment protection and forest fire prevention as well as the fact that air source heat pumps and gas equipment for cooking were introduced into the village, the dismantled woods of various sizes were left unused.
2. Shade pergola over the scarp
The village was built through reclamation of mountain and wasteland, so there were many slope protection structures and scarps. Villagers intended to have a shade pergola over a long scarp with cement column piers along both sides, for them to have a rest in the shade. According to the original plan, heavy square steel bars and large timbers were identified as main construction materials, which needed to be purchased and transported from the faraway county or city markets and required a professional construction team and utilization of crane. And flat area at the site was too narrow to operate heavy machinery, which meant it was dangerous for people and livestock once accidents occurred. When we happened to see design drawings of this project, we suggested to work out a simpler and more convenient solution for construction.
3. Dymaxion & best use of materials
Richard Buckminster Fuller summed up his concept on technology and human development: “dymaxion”, which means maximum gain of advantage from minimal energy input. As for construction activities, “dymaxion” can be interpreted as “building the largest space and the most solid structure with minimal material use”.
The design philosophy of “dymaxion” actually resonates with the concept of rural construction. Nowadays, many Chinese villages present a unique built landscape, which was created by generations of villagers who had the wisdom to make use of local materials and maximize functions with minimal input.

Materials for construction units were designed as small as possible, so that more wood waste could be reused and the construction work could be carried out by villagers themselves. Wooden rod units constitute the structural system, which enhances stability and obtains a larger space. The structure features grids that improve its performance in withstanding forces of nature, hence ensuring greater safety for a long period of use. With such construction scheme, we saved costs and improved efficiency.

4. Conforming to wood materials is following nature
We kept varying lengths of wood materials, and worked to create a structure that is well integrated with the surrounding mountains. Wooden rods were reclaimed from demolished houses of various depths, so the lengths of these woods were different. We didn’t cut or lengthen any wooden rod. Instead, we took into account the tolerance of length variation and ingeniously arranged the position of each wooden unit. In this way, a flexible pergola structure which conforms to materials as well as the mountainous surroundings was created.

Design team: LUO studio
Site address: www.luostudio.cn
Chief designer: Luo Yujie
Participating designer: Lu Zhuojian
On-site designers: Wang Zhenqi, Li Mingchu, Wei Wenjing
Project location: Luotuowan Village, Longquanwan Towm, Fuping County, Hebei Province, China
Construction area: 274.3m2
Photographer: Jin Weiqi
Photographer's website: www.jinweiqi.top
Design time: December 2016
Completion time: September 2018

Related Projects

  • The Yas Hotel
    Asymptote Architecture
  • 166 Perry Street
    Asymptote Architecture
  • F & B Pavilion
    A*PT Architecture
  • A. E. Smith School Library
    A*PT Architecture
  • Camera Jewel House
    Tonkin Liu

Magazine

Other Projects by LUO studio

Longfu Life Experience Center
Puyang
Temporary Site of Shengli Market — Creation of Spatial Order
Puyang
Shared Lady Beetle — A Micro Movable Library for Kids
9.639 — An Inserted Variable Office