Renovation project with little budget and under a very short time frame

Architects: Evolution Design 空间进化
Location: Beijing, China
Year: 2016
Photo courtesy: Evolution Design 空间进化
Description:

“In Huangshandian Village renovation project, with little budget and under a very short time frame, Evolution Design turned obsolete village in the countryside into a perfect make-over by saving the texture and spacial relationship between the original farm house building and the surrounding courtyards, merging with the arteries and veins of the village. With the pursuit of preserving the countryside memory and making adaptations as needed to the surrounding environment, they persists in the principle of originating “outside” of tradition, yet coexists with tradition, allowing it to extend and cherish in a more respectful way.

Different from many individual design projects seen in the past, Evolution Design is exploring a brand-new business model to resolve the social issues commonly found in China today. Traditional villages left a large number of vacant farm houses in unlivable conditions and infrastructure fell way behind. Most young adults move to the city for work, leaving behind large number of seniors and unattended young children. As most of these villages tend to be far from cities, local farm products are difficult to transport out, exacerbating the poverty issue. On the other hand, city residents increasingly wish to spend the weekend in the countryside to relax, getting rid of air pollution and work pressure, but with difficulties to find good qualities to stay.

Our business model is to look for vacated houses in the countryside villages, convert these places into design-quality living space under a short time span and with good cost management. While training local farmers to provide warm host services, our food specialists would develop dining menus based on local agricultural products available, and finally, internet platform is used for marketing and sales. 75% sales revenue belongs to local farmer, 25% covers our platform’s operating cost. We have completed renovation for almost 40 courtyards in the past year, controlling cost under $60 USD per square feet (all expenses inclusive); our renovation job complete in less than 2 months on average.

Using local materials and labors lowered operating cost in the latter phase, and sharing most of the distributions to the local farmers makes the model stable income in nature, while attracting more farmers willing to provide vacant houses and to work together with us. This has caused quite some number of young people returning to the village to join us, indirectly contributed to resolving a long standing social issue.”