Winner: Civic building of the year 2022. Yong'an Village Community Hub in southwestern China creates a meeting space in celebration of cultural diversity.
Yong'an Village sits on the ancient Salt Horse Road connecting South Asia and mainland China, in an area where several ethnic groups (Han/Bai/Yi/Muslim) co-exist.
The structure provides a platform for daily activities and also works as a repository for spiritual dwellings and venue memories of the villagers in the future.
Instead of creating an idealised rural utopia, the project achieves a forward-thinking sense of nostalgia through the concept of 'non-local locality', respectfully carrying the past as an experience to learn from.
With due reverence toward local culture as the foundation of the design, the project celebrates the essence of rural villages in its semi-enclosed courtyard and free-flowing roof lines that create a dialogue with the rectangular boundary of the site.
Judges comments: "This is a generous piece of civic architecture that celebrates and elevates both people and place. It is a fantastic example of how to use traditional materials in a modern way. The sweeping roof of the building hugs the landscape with a wonderful flow and is a fantastic expression of the building's function as a place of gathering the community together. To put a building as ambitious as this in such a remote community, which may not have seen something like it before, is also admirable. This is a building that can truly inspire."
Architect: Tongji University and Archi-Union Architects
Project: Yong'an Village Community Hub