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Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Display // LUO studio

Text description provided by the architects.

Project name: Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Display ShelvesDeveloper: Government of Huanfeng Town, Xiuwu County, Henan ProvinceClient: Jiaozuo Yuntai Agricultural Technology Co., Ltd.Design firm: LUO studio (www.luostudio.cn)Designers / construction instruction: Luo Yujie, Wang Beilei, Huang Shangwan, Zhang ChenConstruction firm: Jiaozuo Yuanbo Architectural Engineering Co., Ltd.Location: Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Industry Park, Houyanmen Village, Huanfeng Town, Xiuwu County, Henan ProvincePhotography: Jin WeiqiTotal exhibition area: 602 square metersMain display shelf size: 12m (length), 14.1m (width), 5.3m (height)Materials: thin pine panels, iron sheetsStart time: April 26, 2021Completion time: November 30, 2021Agricultural products exhibition for supporting rural industries revitalization2021 opens a new chapter of China’s Rural Revitalization Initiative.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

As industries take the lead in rural revitalization, quality agricultural products and better ways of displaying them are essential. This is quite true for Houyanmen Village in Huanfeng Town, Xiuwu County. The Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Industry Park in the village needed an exhibition space to display its ice chrysanthemum (a species of medicinal chrysanthemum) products, and the operator thought that what products display needed was just a place with a moderate size.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Therefore, they commissioned a familiar steel structure manufacturer to construct a space with portal steel frames at a very fast speed, for serving product display and livestreaming selling activities. Such portal steel frames replicated the structures of other plants in the industry park. The operator thought that the space was ready for use once furniture pieces were set in.Exhibition is a crucial step for advertising and marketing.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

The industrial park’s current selling channels mainly include tour groups, franchisees and livestreaming marketing. No matter in which way, a characteristic space for showcasing products is indispensable. A space integrating exhibition function with the unique features of products can provide people with a more tangible experience, so as to communicate products more effectively, stimulate consumption and promote the development of the industry.Low cost realized by lightweight & common materials and techniquesCapital for industries in rural regions is very precious, as various factors could affect production and marketing, and furthermore cause income losses.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, sales of local ice chrysanthemum products from tour groups have been interrupted significantly, and the ice chrysanthemum plantation zone in the village suffered severe production decrease because of floods this year. Taking every aspect into account, LUO studio tried to create an effective display setting in the existing space at a minimum cost, which was the key design principle.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

To this end, affordable and conveniently available materials, as well as simple techniques (which didn’t require special equipment or experienced craftsmen) easily accessible to local villagers were applied.

After a comprehensive analysis, LUO studio chose a type of thin wooden panels featuring a high lumber recovery rate as main construction materials.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Manufactured by a local timber factory, the panels have a sectional dimension of 60mm*10mm, and can be easily relocated and assembled by hand. Through bending the thin timber panels properly and then making them connected to the nodes by making use of the existing portal steel frames, a natural and vernacular spatial atmosphere was generated.Straight steel structure and curved thin panels, and timber elements as furnishingsThe bending of thin panels obtains stress that enhances structural stability.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Each wooden panel elements with a different curvature is an “arched” stress unit. The “arched” units anchor each other, with the bottom ends reaching the display stands. Therefore, the physical structure of these elements is also the form of force transmission. It is a structural element and also a functional component of display furniture.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

The modulus of display shelves fits into the varied sizes of agricultural products, and the structural components function as display shelves as well. The timber elements are extended and “suspended” under the portal steel frames, producing a natural atmosphere in the existing space.The short section of each single portal steel frame is 15m in length and 6.5m in height.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Through careful evaluation on the sectional scale, three sets of exhibition shelves are set underneath the steel frames, and four passages are arranged (each about 3.2m in net width) to make sure that in no event will the place be overcrowded.Drawing deviations “rectified” during on-site constructionBefore the design drawings were completed, continuous bending tests had been performed on single thin timber panels, and in this way the design team obtained relevant technical parameters regarding curvature.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

However, during the construction process, due to many superimpositions of bar elements, varied curvature from different sections of the display system, and uneven scab distribution of different batches of timer materials, there were deviations between the design drawings and actual execution. To proceed with the construction more effectively and ensure the maximum use of common materials, the design team decided to take the drawings as a reference for controlling the shape and the way of organizing structures, and meanwhile asked workers to carry out repeated on-site tests so as to obtain the final and the most appropriate curvature of each section of the whole wooden system.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Then, the results were reviewed and incorporated into the design drawings, as a basis for deducing and modifying other material components and connecting nodes.From industrial “steel structures” to handmade “wood-woven shelves”The existing industrial-style steel-structure space was cool and mechanical, which is obviously contrary to the ideas of ecology, green and naturalness that the agricultural products are intended to convey.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Considering the fact, thin wooden panels were selected to construct the display setting, and were presented in a way of simulating rural hand weaving craft (agricultural tools). The “wood-woven” display shelves reveal a handmade feeling and a diversity differentiated from industrial manufacturing, and convey the warmth of each piece of ice chrysanthemum, which is picked, sorted, dried and baked by villagers manually.

Architecture for supporting rural industries, on the one hand, has something in common with industrial buildings, as both need to consider the efficiency of production process.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

On the other hand, it is different from industrial buildings as it needs to take into account of the countryside context. Through conceiving the exhibition space of Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Industrial Park, LUO studio intended to work out a type of rural industry exhibition space that features low budget, common green building materials and construction techniques that are master to villagers, hence revealing a sense of nature, ecology, and vernacular feeling.

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

This project is a new beginning of aesthetic creation for industries-supporting buildings in Houyanmen Village, Xiuwu County..

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

© LUO studio

Yuntai Ice Chrysanthemum Display Gallery

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