Shaoxing is located in the south of the Yangtze River, known as Jiangnan, where one can get lost in the crossing alleys, bridges, canal network, and idyllic scenes appreciating its simplicity and leisure.
The character of the ancient house roof and water network endorses the main idea very much. The design team had got inspired in many ways by researching the watertown of Shaoxing. One is from architecture. The heritage roofs use the imbrex and tegula, overlapping roof tiles, to keep out rain and drain it efficiently. Drawing inspiration from this architectural technique, we create a water feature at the arrival court to facilitate the departure and arrival procedures. Moreover, the delicate roof structure not only captures the essence of the ancient roof but also highlights the dwelling history of Shaoxing. By creating a rain-like effect, this artistic installation becomes the pride and pleasure of Shaoxing architecture and cultural heritage.
Another inspiration is from the environment of Shaoxing. As we pay attention to the relationship between roof and water runoff, we see the way the roofs protect us from the rain and then lead the rain to the gutter and how they manage the rainwater in the oldtown. Now in the current city of Shaoxing, we have a lot of rain every year and sometimes we have floods. In this project, we try to have better rainwater management.
Children, who grow up in Jiangnan, can never forget the scene of rain hitting the eave. Every end of summer follows a rainy season. After dripping from eaves for a few days, the summer fades away swiftly. "Rain beating the eaves" carries the memory of the season for generations who live in Jiangnan.
However, the memory of Jiangnan should go further than just living in the childhood memories of every Jiangnanese. When rain hits the eaves, it is time to recurrence the space. The planting methods are mainly ecological natural planting combined with exquisite spherical shrubs with a sense of sculpture, and then the space is supported by tall trees with a sense of spatial volume and graceful shape to make it rich, exquisite, ecological and colorful. The design hopes to create a Zen village south of the Yangtze River. The plants focus on the interesting natural village feeling of the south of the Yangtze River with exquisite, private, and luxurious original ecological ancient towns.
In the design, the eaves, ridges, and waterscape of the water village in Jiangnan are integrated. Walking in it is like walking by the river of the ancient town, and the roof pours on people, bringing a cultural atmosphere. The rhythm of space is rhythmic, and the opening and closing relationship of space is formed by using landscape walls, corridors, and plants. From the penetrating view of the space to the grandeur and vitality of the front courtyard, and then to the Zen tranquility of the sunken courtyard, several spaces form different space atmospheres. Walking along the road, the scenery is different.