The Preservation of Authenticity in Modern day China
In June 2014, a client in Taishun County, Southern China asked me to design a Tea House. During my site research I found that most of the historical buildings have been demolished. A handful have been conserved as tourist sites, but does this kind of preservation allow for buildings to adapt to a new life? And what can we learn from the local vernacular architecture that can help us build a more cohesive environment in this fast growing region? As a Chinese architect I wonder how I should not only preserve, but also reinterpret the meaning of authenticity in architecture in modern day China.
For this question, I would like to investigate the potential of revitalizing historical structures and construction methods, in a series of buildings that reintroduce tea culture into the daily lives of the people of Taishun County. The proposal is distributed over ten sites and proposes a series of buildings, which are related to tea production and consumption. Traditional tea manufacturing methods and craftwork are adapted in the construction of the buildings. For example, technology utilised in the manufacturing of teapots is adopted in the fabrication of new types of tiles.
School of Architecture
MA Architecture, 2015