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The Revitalisation of Silkworm Breeding Factory

Part 2 Project 2015
Oipin Hu
Nanjing University Nanjing China
For centuries, sericulture or silk farming was flourished in territories around the Taihu Lake. Silkworm breeding has accurate and rigid requirements of temperature and humidity, which prompted the invention of a specific type of architecture using passive techniques instead of air-conditioning. Established in 1930, the silkworm breeding factory in Fangqiao Town was not only a hub of local production, serving the peasants in the whole region, but also a centre of community for families of workers after it was nationalised in the 1950s. However, following the decline of sericulture in the region, the factory stopped running and was gradually dilapidated.

This project intends to revitalise the factory by integrating new programme with adaptation of the environmental tectonics of the original architecture. New exterior ‘plug-in’ facilities will activate the public areas while adjusting the micro-environment on the site. In individual buildings, the ventilation circulation and light-condition of existing buildings are used to benefit and characterise the new vegetable market and handcraft workshops.

This project focuses on the design of an ‘environmental landscape’ that interprets the extraordinary architectural inventions of the historical silkworm breeding factory and regenerates the factory as a centre of knowledge and skills for both community members and visitors.

Oipin Hu


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