Image_1 The memory of the village

White walls with grey tiles reflecting across the surface of a lake. Gently swaying willows growing along the river. Wild flowers blooming in a confetti of color along the riverbank. These are all cherished childhood memories of my hometown, Nanjing. With the high-paced development of urbanization unfolding in Nanjing, as in many other parts of China, these memories of country villages and farmland are increasingly being replaced by the appearance of industrial campuses, mixed use complexes, and high-rise residential apartments.

Image_2 People and their Life

Fortunately, with the Nanjing Youth Olympic Game in 2014, planners and government began paying more attention to remaining villages of yesterday with a progressive ecological and environmental perspective shaped by today. Planners converged on a village located at the southeast part of Nanjing, attracting a group of architects, planners, and artists to come together to help develop an ecological village that maintains the historical and cultural appearance of yesterday while operating with the contemporary ecological technologies.

Image_3 Lake and Wild Flowers

Image_4 Farmland

“The renovation of those villages is not to destroy the original things, but to preserve the memory of what is remaining based on history, and to step further,” explained lead planner and designer Zhu Shengxun. The old abandoned industrial building and railroad path was preserved, while some art major college students moved into the industrial building to renovate the space into an art exhibition area. An old water reservoir was also persevered.

Image_5 Old Truck in front of the entrance

An old tractor turn into art piece in front village entrance.

Image_6 Old House turn into a library

An old farmhouse converted into a library and meditation room.

Image_6:2_Old house turn into library

Image_7 A New overlook Deck

Image_7:2 A new overlook Deck

Image_8 A new overlook Deck

A new overlook deck and viewing pavilion.

Image_9 Gravel Path Along the wetland

Gravel paving along the wetland.

Image_10 Paving Pattern

Nice paving and wall façade details, constructed using historical tiling and old pottery parts.

Looking back, I now recognize how much the memories of my hometown helped shape me. Similarly, history, culture, and now technology continue to shape my hometown. I believe the planning of this village was quite successful, noticing an increase of visitors during the weekends in Nanjing, and I like to imagine they’ll soon cherish the sights, sounds, and scents of Nanjing tomorrow as I do today.


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