Rural Community Center: Futuristic and Traditional Approach

Archi-Union Architects

Architects: Archi-Union Architects
Location: Dao Ming, China
Area: 1.800 m2
Year: 2017
Photography: Bian Lin

Archi-Union Architects from China have created a rural community center in Dao Ming Town supported by a 70% pre-fabricated timber frame structure. The center is a configuration of two patios covered by a Mobius roof finished with traditional ceramic tiles. The project is simultaneously futuristic and traditional in its approach.

The center is located in a suburb of Dao Ming Town, Chongzhou County, well known for its extensive tradition of bamboo-weaving. As the first demonstration project in this rural area, this center is intended for hosting bamboo-weaving craftsman events, providing a hub for cultural sharing and for accommodating other multi-function activities.

Archi-Union Architects began this project with the aim of promoting traditional crafts and taking inspiration from an ancient Chinese poem. The work attempts to integrate new life, generated by the activities at the center, with the original site, the surrounding villages and natural ecological resources.

“A building can only try to start a dialogue with earth, while plants belong to the earth. We were trying our best to maintain everything and keep most elements unchanged,” said principle architect Philip F. Yuan.

People will have a strong feeling of Chinese poetic beauty when entering the building. It shapes space in a Chinese Garden way. Layers and transparency create an interaction between people and light.

Traditional materials are used in an intelligent way throughout the project. Since traditional bamboo-weaving was not appropriate for the architectural structure, it instead appears as a façade texture wrapping the exterior of the building. Similarly, clay, ceramic, timber and tile have all been applied with sensitivity where appropriate.


This community center is also an avant-garde exploration of how to integrate new construction technology with local crafts in the era of digital humanities. The project integrates parametric design, traditional construction techniques and contemporary prefabrication industrialization. The high efficiency afforded by pre-fabrication made the 52-day construction period possible. In that time, all the main building construction, interiors and landscape site work were completed.

“We actually need to bring something urban and futuristic to our countries, instead of simply imitating. If our future industrialized factories could be equipped with advanced industrialization approaches and instruments, like robotic construction and digital industry, it would certainly bring about a significant industrial upgrading. We can already foresee it in this project.” –Philip F. Yuan.