Shangping Village Regeneration-Yang’s School Rural Library and Bookstore

The project is located in Shangping village, Jianning County, Fujian Province, China. The village has a long history of over 1000 years. So far, the village structure is well preserved and has a large number of historical buildings. However, in recent years, the economy has declined and a great many houses are idle. Most of the villagers are elderly and children. In the area where the project is located, there is an old site of the Family Yang’s School, where, Zhu Xi, a great literary master of the Song Dynasty, ever taught and lectured here.

Instead of changing the school, it transformed a cattle shed and utility room next to it. The new functions are a bookstore and a rural library, which provide reading space for local villagers and sell cultural and creative products related to the village, as a place for the local people to communicate with outsiders.

The design makes full use of the space features of the original building: the bookstore is transformed from the utility room, retaining the original stone walls, the wooden structure is repaired and the floor is partially raised to form an external viewing platform. The library is transformed from a cattle shed by retaining a layer of rubble wall, opening up three cattle houses, raising the wooden house for storing grass on the second floor by 40cm, increasing the height of the first storey and introducing sunlight into the originally dark cattle shed. For the second floor, the original space scale is retained, partially with double-height. The diaphragms are made of sunlight plate to form translucent effect and a comparison between the old and new materials. After the reconstruction, the building not only provides reading place for the villagers, but also brings economic benefits to the village.

Project info

Project Name:Yang’s School Rural Library and Bookstore
Location: Xiyuan Town, Jianning County, Sanming City, Fujian Province, China
Client: People’s Government of Xiyuan Township
Architectural Design Company: 3andwich Design / He Wei Studio (
Principal Architect: He Wei
Building area: 113 sqm
Period of Design: Aug 2016 – Nov 2016
Period of Construction: Nov 2016 – Dec 2017
Lighting Design: Zhang Xin Studio, Tsinghua University School of Architecture
Lighting Design Team: Zhang Xin, Han Xiaowei, Zhou Xuanyu, Niu Bentian
Interior Construction Drawing: Hongshang Design
Photographer: Zhou Meng