Archello Awards 2023 has revealed the winning projects selected as winners of this year’s awards. For each of the 27 categories, one project was awarded by jury vote, and one project was awarded by public vote. The jury has selected the Linden Centre Shaxi Community Campus by Anderson Anderson Architecture as winner of the For the Planet Award, one of the overall project categories honoring the best and most sustainable projects completed in the last year.
The project is situated in a new national park connected to the historic town of Shaxi, in the high mountains of Yunnan, southwest China. The campus contains community and cultural facilities as well as small dwelling cabins for visitors involved in economic development and cultural education. The project is programmed into two parts on either side of a ravine, with cultural facilities, dining and gathering spaces located on the east while on the wooded west side of the ravine dwelling clusters in rammed earth are constructed along the topographical lines carved over time by wandering cattle.
The site is located in a remote area of China that has largely been left untouched by modern development. Following in this tradition the design team studied local building methods and worked with craftspeople to adapt regional techniques to contemporary standards and building codes. The project is constructed using local stone, rammed earth, clay tile, timber columns and beams, in addition to more modern products for modern glazing and manufactured fittings. The majority of work was provided by the local villagers, rooting the new campus into its community, and helping its workers to develop new skills.
Stonework covers the ground floor to create a network of terraces, streets, courtyards, drainage courses and foundations, and to serve as a visually and physically strong plinth for the more fragile constructions of rammed earth and timber.
The 'For the Planet Award' honors a single building completed in 2022 for aspects of sustainable design and practice. "This unique cultural center in the high mountains of Yunnan was a great experience for us to work with our colleagues at Atelier Fun in Dali and with the Linden Center to develop contemporary applications of traditional materials with the local craftspeople and community near Shaxi," says Ziang Ao, Principal of Anderson Anderson Architecture, of the award.