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1+: Prototype for civic center based on religious conflict in rural China

ATA2020

Christianity is recently gaining popularity in rural China, as an expression of the villagers’ social and spiritual isolation, and as a medium to improve their physical and mental health. The dependence on religion creates varying degrees of social conflict in small communities. This project envisions to use modular architecture as an intervention to draw people back together. Chapel, clinic, library and other communal spaces are designed as modules to form an open system. Villages would choose their own program modules in appropriate sizes and materials, then combine them together to create their own self-built environment for common good.


This project envisions to use modular architecture as an intervention to draw people back together. Three main issues are targeted: first, provide formal religious spaces that legitimize diverse religious groups; second, provide healthcare services in the remote areas, so religion is not the only rescue facing physical or mental illness; third, provide proper social spaces and various social activities in order to create diverse types of social bonds and enrich the villagers’ free time. Chapel, clinic, library and other communal spaces are designed as modules to form an open system. The open system offers potential for the process to go from generic to highly specific and provide an opportunity for user customization to become collaborative design. These program modules are offered in diverse sizes and diverse materials, in order to fulfill each village’s specific demographical, physical, climatic, economic, technological and material needs. Villages would choose their own program modules in appropriate sizes and materials, then combine them together to create their own self-built environment for common good. A building manual is provided including a catalogue of modules, a catalogue of doors, windows and furnitures, detail drawings of masonry, rammed-earth and pre-cast concrete construction techniques, together with three scenarios situated in villages of diverse sizes and building materials.


The 1+ system is envisioned as an open-source project where the users could start a design-build project on their own. Depending on their background and needs - social, physical, climatic, economic, material, etc - they can use this system as the base of their design and customize it to build their own civic center that can be generic or specific.



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1+: Prototype for civic center based on religious conflict in rural China Board

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XiaoHe Yu

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