The project is situated in the old town of Nanyang, featuring a mixture of traditional Chinese wooden residences and contemporary reinforced concrete houses. The regional building density is extremely high, with scarce public open spaces. The project site, covering an area of 2135m², is an abandoned public granary building complex from the early years of China's planned economy period. Comprising 8 buildings, all with traditional grey tile sloping roofs, the structures exhibit a mixture of wood, brick, and rammed earth, suffering severe damage and collapse. The site has been encroached upon by individuals for private purposes such as storage of miscellaneous items and crop cultivation. On a tight budget, the design aims to transform this area into a vibrant public open space, providing venues for various activities.
The site's original spatial composition has been preserved by redesigning, renovating, and reusing the existing abandoned structures. Selective removal of existing walls has broken down the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces, creating a cohesive spatial system throughout the whole area, offering ample flexibility for the occurrence of various activities. New functional blocks, including a public toilet and an information kiosk, have been strategically placed to meet daily functional needs.
The designed area is mainly covered with permeable paving surfaces, and old bricks and wood from the dismantled structures have been selectively recycled for use in the new design. Local trees are used for necessary shading. Furthermore, the project reinterprets local traditional architectural elements to create new wooden structural forms. The entire building process was carried out by a local construction team with the help of neighboring residents.
The project harmoniously coexists with the surrounding environment. It has been well-received by all age groups of the community since its completion, accommodating various activities, from daily leisurely strolls to organized local opera performances.