DnA_Design and Architecture turns Chinese quarries into cultural spaces

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Chinese studio DnA_DesignandArchitecture has transformed Zhejiang’s former series of quarries into a cultural space with delicate inserts into a magnificent hand-carved interior.

The abandoned quarry in the thousands of quarries in Jinyun County, China, has been converted into a facility for locals and tourists as part of a broader project to regenerate the area. I did.

DnA_Design and Architecture turned a series of quarries into a cultural space

Beijing-based DnA_DesignandArchitecture has been commissioned to remodel nine excavated pits, three of which are currently in completion.

These three spaces provide a library, a performance venue, and a meeting area.

Aerial view of Jinyun quarry
The quarry is located in Jinyun County, China

Taking advantage of the rich history of the area’s monuments and rock inscriptions, the studio focused on highlighting the existing features of the quarry as much as possible.

According to the studio, this also challenges the “over-engineering” of popular tourist destinations in rural China.

Quarry library by DnA_Design and Architecture in China
Quarry 8 has been reused as a library

“This project is an ecological improvement to restore the interrupted nature,” the studio told Dezeen. “The reuse of these abandoned quarries reconnects the community with its millennial history and heritage.”

“This project is a fairly minimal intervention, micro-renovation and upgrade that addresses the potential for spatial transformation of various quarries,” continued the studio.

Quarrying performance space by DnA_Design and Architecture in China
Quarry 9 has a performance space

Each quarry was characterized by unique shapes and patterns, mostly as a result of manual excavation, which influenced its design as part of the “public infrastructure”.

The first space named Quarry 8 is now an open library. Its existing stone platform is retained and fits into new concrete stairs and seating areas made of steel and pressed bamboo.

Quarry performance space in China
Quarry 9’s acoustic characteristics make it suitable for performance.

The cabinet containing the books is built into the large staircase of the quarry, and its tapered shape creates a naturally protected reading area.

“Each platform is a multicultural study that allows you to read and practice calligraphy from rubbing books and access ebooks in the future,” said the studio.

Performance venue for a quarry in China
Added stone stage and sunken seating area

The second pit, Quarry 9, is used as a performance space due to its tapered cave-shaped acoustics. A flat stone stage and a sunken seating area have been added to its base.

The third space, Quarry 10, has been transformed into an area to show the process of the quarry. It features a stepped seating area and wooden details integrated with other facilities.

Artificial lighting is used in all three spaces to accentuate the irregular shape and marking of the entire surface of the stone.

In addition to the further development of other quarries in the area, there are plans to build an information center on the path that forms a scenic route between all the new spaces.

Refurbished quarry by DnA_Design and Architecture in China
The third space is used to show the stone quarrying process

“The first three quarries are already drawing attention and controversy about abandoned mines and quarry reuse,” the studio recalled.

“This project is a response to our current dilemma and can be seen as a new way of thinking about our public life.”

Refurbished quarry by DnA_Design and Architecture in China
Studio added stepped seating area to Quarry 10

DnA_Design and Architecture was founded in Beijing in 2004 by Xu Tiantian. In nearby Songyang County, the studio recently carried out another rural regeneration project and set up a wooden tofu factory.

Elsewhere in China, architectural studio Jade + QA has completed the Shimao Wonderland Intercontinental Hotel in an 88-meter-deep abandoned quarry near Shanghai.

Photo by Wang Ziling, courtesy of DnA_Design and Architecture.

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