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Encounter Library

Xiaotong Ma

Longji Village in Guangxi is famous for its unique vast terraced landscape, attracting tourists from all over the world every year. On the one hand, good natural resources, a long history, when the tourist season, there will be foreign tourists to come. On the other hand, it is far away from the city, located in the remote mountains, in order to make a living, a large number of young and middle-aged villagers go out to work, leaving only children, the elderly and a small number of married women. The agricultural economy of traditional terrace farming sustains the basic life of the villagers.

Like other remote mountain villages, the problem of left-behind children and the elderly in Longji Village is also a concern. Most of the elderly have a low education level, young and middle-aged people work outside, leaving grandchildren to live with the elderly, the age gap has caused a lot of problems between the young and young. Although young people can go to the primary school in the center of the village to learn knowledge, the popularity of the Internet and mobile phones has exposed young people to the virtual world full of temptation. The lack of correct guidance, the lack of effective communication between elders and teenagers, children are becoming more and more introverted and negative, the elderly are becoming more and more silent and lonely, and adults are becoming more and more busy in their own work. No communication, no growth, their life has become a parallel line, no intersection, no companionship, no spiritual encounter.

We studied the composition of the villagers in Longji Village, and analyzed the living conditions of the elderly, adults, teachers and children who have lived in the village for a long time. After analysis, we found that although the elderly and children are the most common interdependent family form in Longji Village, they are the loneliest, least communicated, and unable to match the heart of the parent-child relationship, followed by single-parent adults and children. And such parent-child relationship has further deteriorated, aggravated the children's wrong life values caused by inferiority, fighting, worship of fame and wealth. We need a spatial medium to connect the flow of life of the elderly and adults with the flow of children and teachers. Through the positive intervention of teachers and village committee cadres, in the communication space with cultural atmosphere, the library can improve the literacy rate of the elderly, correct and improve the positive educational concepts of adults, and cultivate the after-school learning atmosphere and correct life values of children. At the same time, in this common space, through different reading activities and learning exchanges, the elderly and children become partners with common topics, and adults and children reduce the gap and strengthen their understanding of each other. Their path of life is no longer just dependent on survival, and it has further produced a real encounter and intersection of thoughts and hearts.

There is a small bridge over the river in Longji Village, and the old and young people cross this bridge every day to and from the terraces to do farm work. After the primary school in the west of the village, some children pass through this small bridge to go home. Our library is located at one end of the bridge, at the foot of the terraced hill. It connects the adults, the elderly down the mountain road and the children's way from school.

The library is built in accordance with the terrain, using the height difference to make a double first floor pattern. Longji Village has a long history of traditional ganlan-style residential practices, most of the residential houses are in this form, the first floor for storage, livestock enclosures and toilets, the second floor is warm and bright, as the main living room. The function and architectural form of the library also draw on the practice of local traditional houses, with the first floor backed by the terraced side wall and the east side of the first floor as the main entrance, stall area and collective discussion area. Other areas are equipped with auxiliary Spaces such as toilets and warehouses, as well as multi-functional audio-visual halls that do not require lighting and generate larger decibels.

The west side of the second floor is the entrance to the library. There are different types of reading Spaces on the second floor, including group learning, group learning, individual quiet reading and learning, and children's fun reading areas. Different learning and reading Spaces correspond to different reading habits and communication styles of the elderly, young people and children.

The building materials are gravel and wood commonly used in local dwellings, and safety glass is used as the lighting window of the pitched roof on the side that needs lighting. We not only draw on local traditional houses in architectural form, but also mainly use wooden columns, wooden beams, wooden grilles, wooden handrails, wooden rafters and other components in architectural details. Although we cannot completely design nodes according to the ancient mortise and tenon technology in detail processing, we still maintain the regional characteristics of the building on the whole.

At the foot of the quiet terrace, beside the bright reading area and the warm wooden table, the old man and the child open the book together. The child reads the text he has learned today for the grandma, and the grandma listens carefully while doing the farm work at hand. A child's life has just begun, and an old man's life has many stories to tell.

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