Los Angeles, June 23, 2016__In an online vote, the public picked its top three entries in a competition to design prefabricated wood structures for Jade Valley Winery outside of Xi’an. Called “Napavilions,” these small constructions are designed to serve as vineyard retreats where guests and workers can take naps or enjoy views of the dramatic landscape. The competition was organized by the University of Southern California’s American Academy in China, which creates cross-cultural collaborations between the United States and China.
With nearly 19,000 votes cast, the most popular entry was “Rejuvenate Solipsism,” a twisted sexagonal structure made of wood plates and metal rod joints. Designed by faculties from Daffodil International and Bangladesh Universities in Dhaka, this pavilion plays with notions of solids and voids by creating a round space for napping inside an angular enclosure.
Second place went to “PreHome,” a sleek, wood-frame building designed by The Primitives Group, a firm based in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
The entry with the third-most votes was “Spirit of a Tree,” a bent-bamboo structure designed by Yaojun Huang and Zi Liang from Guangdong Province.
Although the popular-vote winners will not be built this year, they will be promoted on the spamall.com website to give their designers greater visibility and worldwide attention. They will also be announced at a Nap Festival on July 23 hosted by Qingyun Ma, dean of USC’s School of Architecture and owner of Jade Valley Winery.
A professional jury of Dean Ma, AAC director Clifford Pearson, USC professor Gary Paige, and AAC research fellow and critic Michael Sorkin selected four other entries to be built at Jade Valley. Three of these will be built this summer and one at a later date.
AAC and Jade Valley also commissioned seven established architects—Lawrence Scarpa, Gary Paige, Scott Uriu, Geoffrey von Oeyen, Noreen Liu (NODE), Tiantian Xu (DnA), and SKEW Collaborative (H. Koon Wee and Eunice Seng)—to design Napavilions, which will be built this year and next.
“The goal of the Napavilion competition is to challenge designers to find solutions that have clear ideas behind them and can accommodate an uncertain site, since they may be built in other locations after Jade Valley,” said Dean Ma. For more than a decade, Dean Ma has been treating Jade Valley as an on-going experiment in the integration of Culture, Agriculture, and Nature, what he calls C.A.N. It has garnered much attention locally and internationally as an emerging force in agri-tourism and cultural tourism. According to Dean Ma, he aims to “define and redefine the landscape, combining nature with the man-made, while using architecture in a minimal, strategic way.” Artists and designers from around the world are welcome to build works at Jade Valley and take residence there.
Established under the auspices of USC’s School of Architecture, the American Academy in China (AAC) strives to promote dialogue around design, the built environment, and the arts. The AAC engages teachers, students, scholars, practicing architects, artists, filmmakers, planners, designers, business people, government officials, and the public in interdisciplinary explorations of the needs and challenges facing China in an era of rapid change.
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