The natural landscape of the northern part of Jinyun County, in China’s Zhejiang province has long been shaped by the constant action of man. For decades, in fact, inhabitants from the area have worked as stonemasons in the local stone quarries, exploiting them on a small scale to obtain construction materials and specialising in this hard work to cope with the scarcity of fertile soil.
The stone quarries – over three 3000 of them – are now all abandoned. Some have fallen into disrepair, while others have adopted different and unusual uses such as poultry farming, or as ponds for fish farming. Looking to create new opportunities that could counter the exodus of people from rural regions and offer new economic perspectives to their citizens, in 2021 the local administration commissioned architect Xu Tiantian and his DnA_Design and Architecture studio to revitalise nine of the abandoned quarries.
On March 18, at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin, the exhibition focused on the projects – completed as well as in progress – for the former stone quarries of the Xiandu Valley, in China’s Jinyun County will open its doors to the public. An impressive natural landscape, punctuated by the presence of unusually shaped volcanic rock formations that constitute an important tourist attraction. In this context, architect Xu Tiantian has carried out a pilot project that seeks reconciliation with nature.
The interventions carried out by the DnA_Design and Architecture studio, in fact, aim to revitalise this unique landscape with small-scale interventions, improving the quarries from an ecological point of view, converting them into social and cultural infrastructures to benefit both the local population and visitors.
In order to convey and enable the public to experience the spatial sensation of being in the Jinyun stone quarries, a large and scenographic installation was built for the exhibition. The exhibition experience is subsequently completed by large-format photos, drawings and descriptions as well as videos documenting what the activity of the stone quarries was when they were still in use, as well as the current context, detailing the use that the population makes of these spaces after the recent transformations.
Images courtesy of Aedes Architecture Forum, photo by Wang Ziling © DnA_Design and Architecture
Exhibition: March 19 – May 5, 2022
Opening: March 18, 2022, 6:30 pm;
Venue: Aedes Architecture Forum, Christinenstr. 18–19, 10119 Berlin
Opening Hours: Tue–Fri 11 am–6:30 pm, Sun–Mon 1–5 pm and Sat, March 19, 2022, 1–5 pm
Speaking at the opening
Hans-Jürgen Commerell Aedes, Berlin
Friederike Meyer Editor-in-Chief, Baunetz, Berlin
Dr. Eduard Kögel Urban Planner, Berlin
Xu Tiantian DnA_Design and Architecture, Beijing (video message)
We thank the Aedes cooperation partners Zumtobel, Cemex, Camerich, Erwin Hymer Group
Generously supported by Xiandu Scenic Area