A Re-constructed Future for XingAn District

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Market 2.0: Circular Economy Hub

A Re-constructed Future for XingAn District


Name: Zeyuan Ren

Instagram: Zeyuan Ren

Nationality: Chinese

Institution / Company: BA Graduate at Manchester School of Architecture / Part 1 Architectural Assistant at BDP

This project focuses on making changes (or catalysing better measurements) to a number of urban-planning related issues in XingAn district, Taiyuan (a city in central Chhina).

From a macro perspective, the over-radical housing boom from early 2000s to 2020 has populated the urban centre with dwelling reams. However the ever-emerging issue of an aging population means that a percentage of the built houses will be redundant in a couple of decades. This situation means the districts at the urban edge are expelled from the original housing plan, leaving multiple communities like XingAn lost their planed ‘future’. With the existing dwelling and amenity infrastructures being more and more obsolete and lacking decent maintenance, the residents who are mainly elder peoples might need to relocated themselves despite be the more vulnerable part of the population.

Nevertheless the planned ‘future’ has its up and downs as regeneration of such old residential districts often involves compulsory collection and deconstruction of existing apartments.

My starting point does not focus directly on reimagining a better dwelling solution. Rather I looked at a quite unique culture among older communities: morning market. Unlike the mixed-use-development -driven retail malls in the city centre, The morning market often consists of individual sellers with a certain level of mobility as they manages both importing and selling. Their working mechanism inspired me to explore a tidal concept. 

The proposed buildings are all somewhat function-less as they are simply just shelters or platforms. This ‘disadvantage’ drives the possibility to accommodate completely different activities during different time in a day. Another advantage lies in the construction methods: through incorporating hybrid mass timbers, the buildings becomes easier to be de-constructed and re-constructed even across different sites to avoid material waste during potential renewing stage of the entire district.

In the end, the proposal express a greater expectation to celebrate the morning market culture and draw attention to a wide range of urban dwellers. With the increase of popularity and economic significance of XingAn district, the future of it might be improved.


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