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Hut of Tea

Yuming Yang, Zihe Wei & Zhiquan Jiang

The very first thing that crossed our minds when talking about “OFF THE GRID” was a Chinese cultural image named TaoHuaYuan, which means the source of the blossoms. It is an imaginary world, an ultimate Utopia, and a poetic way of living that was forever longed for. How far is the TaoHuaYuan? Things that fetter us to our mundane lives make us yearn for returning to nature, to the moon light between the mountains, to the wind across the wilderness. Savoring poems while drinking fine wine, playing chess while emerging in the scent of ink, all those poetic lives we’re craving for would not exist without the element of tea. With this clue in mind, we tried to define our version of TaoHuaYuan——a life around a tea garden in Fujian. As the largest tea manufacturing province in China, Fujian was blessed with the geographical and weather condition by the Mount Wuyi. Which are the very things that have given life to the tea production industry in this region. The tea gardens there are scattered around the mountains and away from the cities, which is in consistence with “OFF THE GRID”.
If the mountains are nature’s canvas, the tea gardens would be the ink, leaving its mark before the sky and sea. Nature is our destination. And TaoHuaYuan might not that far after all.
To suit the purpose of TaoHuaYuan, the project’s function was specially designed around the tea growers’ lives in the mountains. Nurturing the seeds, planting, picking, drying, and cooking the tea leaves… From their simple lives surrounded by the scent of tea, the planters might discover their happiness. Though small, this hut has adopted an advanced technology to ensure the accomplishment of sustainable development goals in its whole lifecycle. During its construction, the local-made cross-laminated bamboo and timber was used extensively. This type of material has approximately the same mechanical properties as rolled steel. In the meantime, it only requires a quite limited carbon emission to produce, making the environmental impact of the construction reduced to its minimum. After built, the combination of the thermal and wind pressure ventilation, the architectural shading as well as the vertical greening system would keep the house in an agreeable temperature throughout the entire year with a minimal energy cost. With that in mind, there will only be needing a small cover of solar panels to ensure the building’s functions OFF THE GRID. Moreover, the well-calculated rainwater recycle system would supply the architecture with water even during the most severe dry seasons.

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