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Hangzhou, China
1-5 Stories
Carolyn Leung, Ben de Lange

Inside the rural Tai Yang Valley, West of Hangzhou, the Sun Commune is a local initiative raising awareness of sustainable farming and promoting healthy living and outdoor activities for the increasing urbanization of China. Within the sun commune, Superimpose Architecture Studio designed MICR-O to be a learning platform for city dwellers.

The central outdoor patio creates an enclosed platform to host learning activities and events. The white canvas ‘ring’ houses camping accommodation subdivided into segments by the three entrance points. The external corridor blends with the surrounding bamboo forest and offers an alternative circulation route while activities are happening in the central patio. The structure is elevated, keeping the ground nearly untouched. The structural A frame, a ninety-degree angled triangle, gives the design an externally pure shape, while internally the patio opens towards the sky and surroundings.

The construction is an example of time-and-cost-effective design. The simplicity of repetitive structural ‘A’ frame creates a bold gesture in the valley. Locally reclaimed pinewood is used as the main structure and floor decking.

On site workshops and physical models by the architects were used as communication tools to teach the local villagers how to realize the design. The architects are still involved by organizing architectural workshops for villagers and visiting kids and will keep supporting the Sun Commune.

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