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Bin Feng Hall
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Location: Yixing, Jiangsu Province, China

Use: a ceramics school

Site area: 6,666 m²

Total floor area: 5,863 m²

Year: 2022

Yixing, a city in Jiangsu Provence, is located in Jiangnan region on the south bank of the Yangtze River, approximately 150 km west of Shanghai. It is known historically as a thriving area that produces pottery of traditional tea bowls and utensils. The family of the client (owner of the building), Mr. Gao, has been involved in pottery for generations in the area, and after he studied pottery in Japan, he opened a pottery studio in Beijing and then returned to his hometown, Yixing, where he established a ceramics studio and pottery school.

In this location, surrounded by scenic pastoral land unique to the Jiangnan region, a housing area centered around pottery with traditional streets is being planned, and this complex is being constructed as its core cultural facility.

As the Jiangnan region in China is blessed with abundant water and greenery, its traditional townscape with a blend of white walls and Jiangnan roof tiles has been preserved along the irrigation water channels throughout the region from Suzhou to this area. The plan for Binfengtang also adopts a design that follows this historical context while making an attempt to fuse it within a new contemporary composition.

While the southwest side of the construction site faces the surrounding district, the northeast side is approximately five meters lower, and openly faces the irrigation water channels and the mountains beyond them.

The structural elements of the architecture comprise, on the townhouse style section of the building, a pottery gallery and a shop on the first floor, a restaurant on the second floor, and on the other side of the elongated semi-outdoor water feature, a museum of local traditional crafts, a conference room, and a terrace are located on the second floor. Moreover, a pottery school and a kiln for firing the ceramics, a potter’s studio and a house are placed around the courtyard, and a Chinese tea house and a guest space are planned around the water feature. The upper part is made into a garden and a cloister arranged in a layout that makes them open to the pastoral scenery.

As described above, the inland side on the south-western side of the premise is made in accordance with the urban Siheyuan (Chinese Quadrangle) style, and the design was made so that the cloister-shaped architecture is opened gradually towards and blends with the pastoral scenery.

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