A unique contest is offering cash prizes for the best designs that regenerate and revitalize this 300-year-old rural village

In Shanxiabao Village, Wuyi County, Zhejiang Province, China, a unique contest (open to anyone) is underway, offering cash prizes for the best designs for regenerating and revitalizing this 300-year-old rural village.

The R3 (Rural Revitalization and Regeneration) is a strategic initiative aimed at promoting comprehensive rejuvenation and sustainable redevelopment in rural areas. It focuses not only on the economic development of rural regions but also emphasizes progress in social, environmental, and cultural aspects.

The R3 Design Competition is conceived to develop a design strategy guided by “critical regionalism” or “contextualism,” intending to propose projects and designs closely related to local culture, architectural language, environment, and economy.

The competition aims to integrate resources, improve infrastructure, encourage innovation, and foster community sharing without compromising local characteristics and cultural authenticity.

The competition is open-ended, requiring participants to select a plot within the designated area of Shanxiabao Village, leveraging the tourism resources of the region.

The designs should embody the principles of R3 from diverse perspectives. Throughout the design process, cultural resources, existing architectural language, and local urban features of Shanxiabao Village should be taken into consideration.

The R3 competition invites architects, designers, planners, students, and participants who are passionate about sustainable rural revitalization. It encourages them to utilize the cultural and historical resources of Shanxiabao Village to create a space that promotes cultural exchange and heritage preservation, while driving the development of local handicraft industries and sustainable tourism.

The competition accepts submissions of various types of architectural projects, including single-family residences, multi-unit buildings, public structures, adaptive structures, temporary living experiences, or any other scale of architecture.

There are no limitations on the design process or construction techniques. The proposed designs should be selected within the designated area and consider their relationship with the surrounding environment.

Designers are expected to respect local culture and architectural character, contemplate the integration of modern technology with rural history and culture, and propose future development strategies that align with rural conservation and revitalization.

These strategies will also be crucial elements for project evaluation. The final architectural or spatial design should be driven by the development strategy, with the reasons and intentions behind the design clearly explained in the drawings.

Shanxiabao Village has a long history and unique architecture, dating back over 300 years. Due to its distinctive cultural and historical value, Shanxiabao Village has been included in the first batch of China’s Traditional Villages list and has received national-level protection and recognition.

The project site is located in the Duimenshan Natural Village within the administrative jurisdiction of Shanxiabao Village, which can be reached by walking up the mountain trail. Currently, the population residing in this area is relatively small, and there is a high vacancy rate.

Some of the existing houses have serious structural issues, requiring renovation plans for future development in tourism and homestay industries. The competition allows participants to select a plot of land within the Duimenshan Nature Village area, with custom dimensions.

It is permissible to demolish existing buildings on the chosen plot to create a virtual site to articulate design concepts. Alternatively, limited demolition within the designated area is permitted, with a requirement to respect the original landform and topography.

Registration Deadline: December 20, 2023 11:59 PM
Submission Deadline: December 20, 2023 11:59 PM

Photo of Shanxiabao Village is courtesy of the government of Zhejiang province.

See the contest website.

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