The cultural center is located in the rural Chetian Village , 30km from Guiyang, the capital of Guizhou province, in South-West China. The village has more than 400 years of history and is famous for its 'stone houses' built with local materials. 41 families, out of the 207 living in the village, belong to the Miao (苗) ethnic minority, one of the oldest minority groups in China, most of whom live in Guizhou province. The square outside the cultural center, surrounded by the river, is often used as a stage for local Miao dance and drama performances.

Stone work
The architecture of the cultural center is strongly characterized by 40cm thick walls, built according to the local traditional methods, using the stone coming from the village's pit. The stone has a very unique blue shade, which is why it is commonly called 'blue stone'. It comes from sedimentary rocks and its major components are limestone and dolomite. The strong and obsessive presence of the stone creates an intimate interior space and shows the architects' deep respect for the historical masonry traditions of Chetian Village.

Construction process
The whole project has been supported by government investments and the construction team was directed by the head of the village. During the three years of construction three village heads succeed one another, and together with them different construction and extraction techniques.
The local traditional ones unfortunately got lost during the passing of years. Designers had to develop a new system, studying the existing stone houses of the village in order to preserve has much as they could the traditional masonry methods, together with more modern construction technologies. 
Furthermore, every village head and his team had a different approach and different techniques themselves, starting from material’s extraction from the village’s pit, to the cutting until the final posing.

Each and every stone
keeps the memory of its construction process and of the different hands of those have shaped it
Each and every stone 
shows the trials and the mistakes, which deliberately become an active part of the architecture
Each and every stone 
takes on sociological significance in the process of understanding the life and culture of South-West China stone villages

Architects: West-line studio

Location: Chetian Village, Guizhou Province,China

Architecture and Interior Design: Haobo Wei, Jingsong Xie

Exhibition Design and Curator: Martina Muratori


Project Year:2015

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