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A cyber-barn in a rural setting

A cyber-barn in a rural setting


Located 40 km southwest of Nanjing, in Jiangsu province, China, Shitang Village Internet Center is the work of AZL Architects. Multifunctional building, it stands out with its superb glued-laminated wood structure.

Erected on 3,000 m2, on the model of traditional constructions represented, on the one hand, by auditoriums as a public place and, on the other hand, greenhouses as a production facility, the immense building, which from afar refers to the he image of a barn arises as a reflection on modernization and urbanization in rural areas. Composed of two volumes linked by a zigzag roof with an underlying steel structure, the Shitang Village Internet Center is located 500 meters outside the said village, near a lake, facing a wooded hill. Proposed by the local government, it consists of an extremely thin and prefabricated timber and steel column frame, applying the dynamics of tensegrity, and appropriate technology to illustrate the primitive character of rural villages without the fragility of their buildings. The authors of the project, AZL Architects, have designed a structure dominated by wood and which revolves around a first space, vast and multifunctional, 12 meters high, and a second, smaller, housing offices, a small stage surrounded by seats on three sides, as well as a multipurpose room. The two areas are linked by a large space that is both open and covered, allowing visitors to take refuge there during inclement weather.

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