Atelier XI has built ‘Peach Hut’, a sculptural pavilion made of colored, cast-in-place concrete, located on a field of blossoming peach trees in rural China.
Atelier XI’s original briefing for an arts-and-culture educational centre in China’s Xiuwu County was to build a 300-sq-m public building. But the architects saw a way for the institution to further its reach and leave a more powerful impact on communities in the region: they proposed to divide the single building into a series of small facilities in different locations, so as to eliminate the need for travel from spread-out villages.
The long-term drawbacks of remote rural areas include insufficient educational resources, inadequate information access and scant aesthetic imagination. Thus, community leaders and the architect seek for an aesthetic approach towards rejuvenating these communities. Through these minimal architectural investments, the project aims to inspire sensibilities of local residents, to help them enjoy and rethink life quality, as well as to alleviate isolation and poverty.
The first of these concrete pavilions, called Peach Hut for the fruit trees which surround it, precedes the completion of six additional units. Each will reference their individual environments – planned hubs range from the woods to the mountains; one will even take shape as a floating theatre on the water.