Peach Hut

Architecture Firm(s):  Atelier xi

Owner:  XIUWU COUNTY

Location:  Henan , China

Category:  Up to $150,000 in construction cost (category one)

Located in a field of blossoming peach trees in rural China, Peach Hut is the first in a series of small pavilions designed to facilitate arts and culture education. A piece of sculptural architecture inspired by the site’s trees, which all lean to one side, Peach Hut was envisioned as a series of arcs that form a unique shape that stretches to meet the sky.

Originally, the team was commissioned to design a nearly 3,000-square-foot building. After surveying the vast region and understanding the difficulties of travel between small, scattered villages, the team proposed dividing the singular building into a series of smaller, 600-square-feet facilities. Each will be strategically located to better support and engage different communities.

“A joyful yet efficient and compact design” - Jury comment

The team found inspiration in the trees’ peach blossoms during its first visit, and later opted to coat the buildings with a distinctive pink cast-in-place concrete. Repeated field tests with the construction team yielded the optimal formula of color and concrete strength. The exterior finish is cast with a small wooden frame that highlights its contours, while its interior finish reflects daylight entering from above. The pink hues shift during the changing light conditions of the day.

“A joyful yet efficient and compact design,” noted the jury. “The project addresses community needs and sources local employment and purchasing opportunities in a great site and setting. It soars above the tree line, providing vistas through its strategically placed apertures and fenestration. A great example of structural rationality with aesthetic appeal.”

Ready to accommodate any future plans and welcome both local users and tourists, Peach Hut serves as a flexible space for a wide range of programs. It is a welcoming space for community activities and a small library, but it also supports the farmers’ e-commerce efforts and, occasionally, tasting and selling activities.

"The project addresses community needs and sources local employment and purchasing opportunities in a great site and setting. It soars above the tree line, providing vistas through its strategically placed apertures and fenestration. A great example of structural rationality with aesthetic appeal.” - Jury comment

A stark contrast to the traditional buildings that dot the rural landscape, Peach Hut delivers a fresh and artistic perspective that has transformed a simple community pavilion into a tourist destination. Since it opened, it has inspired residents to engage in artistic expression.

Additional information

Engineer - Structural:  Li Jianhui, Su  Zhimeng    

Engineer - MEP: Gan Bin, Xiao Liangmin    

Lighting Consultant: aura lighting design consultant

Jury

Bhaskar Srivastava, AIA, (Chair), dencityworks, Brooklyn, NY

Kevin Erickson, School of Architecture, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Champaign, IL

Jonah Stanford, AIA, NeedBased, Santa Fe, NM

Janeen Harrell, AIA, Janeen Harrel Architect, GREC Architects, Chicago, IL

Image credits

PEACH HUT-03

Chao Zhang

PEACH HUT-04

Chao Zhang

PEACH HUT-05

Chao Zhang

PEACH HUT-06

Chao Zhang

PEACH HUT-07

Chao Zhang