Pingtian Village Center | DnA Studio

| 15 : 00 – 04 June 2018 |


Aerial view of Pingtian Village center, Chinese village


Beijing based DnA_Design and Architecture Studio repair, reorganize and build exhibition spaces in the mountainous Pingtian village center in Zhejiang Province.

Xu Tiantian the founding principal of DnA_Design and Architecture added in contemporary elements to the village center made up of rammed earth and wooden framework. In addition to convincing the villagers resisting the addition of new spaces, the architect connected two identical houses via a skylight to form a dye workshop. The project prioritized cultural, ecological and harmonious design without compromising construction quality. Keeping vernacular aesthetics intact, the design camouflages within the village center accessible by means of narrow alleys and stairs.

Natural stone and rammed earth walls, Pingtian village, Stairs in village

Narrow alleys and stairs leading to village center © Hao Chen

From the Architects – 

The village of Pingtian situated on a mountain ridge consists mostly of rammed earth structures with traditional wood construction inside. The houses are grouped organically along the topography. They can be accessed on foot by means of stairs and very narrow alleys.


Wooden framework construction, Pingtian village center garden

Rammed earth construction and wooden interior framing © Hao Chen


Sketch, Site location, Pingtian Village center


Location of Pingtian village center


Wooden ceiling and columns, Pingtian village center

© Ziling Wang

For the programme of an exhibition about traditional agricultural equipment and a handcraft center, the architect Xu Tiantian proposed repairing parts of one group of buildings and organizing other parts so that the old building substance satisfies contemporary requirements through gaining new amenities.

Floor plans, Sketch, Pingtian village center

Floor plans – Exhibition space, Dye workshop



Exhibition space © Ziling Wang

The L-shaped exhibition spaces for agricultural equipment on the bottom level can be accessed from two sides. The exhibition space situated on the upper storey can be accessed from the higher-lying alley at the back. It is also connected with the building situated next to it, which young designers use as a workshop for indigo dye.

Garden, Rear side alley, Pingtian Village center

Rear side alley access © Ziling Wang


Section, Sketch, Pingtian village center, workshop

Section – Exhibition building, Dye workshop building


Garden open to sky, Pingtian village center

Garden connected to the exhibition space © Ziling Wang

Workshop building – 

The workshop building was created from two identical houses standing close together. They are now connected by means of a newly installed skylight. Two space units available for rent were created on top storey, from where eyes can wander over the village landscape.


Glass skylight, Indigo dye workshop, Pingtian village center

Workshop building connected by skylight © Ziling Wang


Wooden framework, Pingtian village center

Interior wooden framework © Ziling Wang

The handling of existing structures, which was new for the local craftspeople, provoked resistance that had to be overcome in arduous discourse. In many cases, expectations in the village with respect to new materials and new forms of expression frequently from the urban context have resulted in the destruction of the historically matured culture of form and material.

Handcraft space, exhibition, skylight, wooden framing

Exhibits on display © Ziling Wang

In the case of this example in Pingtian, the architect succeeded in persuading the local population. She convinced that using local means, it is possible to come up with a contemporary solution that both takes their needs into account and preserves the identity of the village as well.

Guestroom with a view, Pingtian village center

Second floor in workshop building converted into rentable guest rooms © Ziling Wang

Garden on rear side of Pingtian village center

Rear side alley opens into a garden © Ziling Wang


Guestroom, Library, Sloping roof, Pingtian village center

A small library in the guestrooms © Ziling Wang

Project Details –

Project Name – Pingtian Village Center

Architect Firm – DnA_Design and Architecture Studio  |

Project location – Pingtian Village, Siduxiang, Songyang, Lishui, Zhejiang Province, China

Lead Architect – Xu Tiantian

Project type – Community center, Public space, Exhibition center

Client – People’s Government of Sidu Village, Songyang County

Photography Credits – © Ziling Wang, Yang Zhou, Hao Chen, Dan Han

Completion Year – 2015

Built up area – 308 sq.m.

Lighting design – Zhang Xin Studio, Architecture Department of Tsinghua University

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