Zen Village

Under Construction

Zen Village

The Zen Village is a renovation of key points within a rural village outside of Nanjing. Using an ‘acupunctural’ attitude we hope to revitalize the village and blend the natural and the man-made. Currently under construction.

Zen Surroundings

The lush natural landscape surrounding Nanjing provides a beautiful environment for zen living.

Construction of the deck at the library

Site locality in relation to Nanjing

Southern Village

The village, Liangpengxia, is situated south-east of Nanjing, near the satellite city of Lishui, in Jiangsu province.

Area site context plan


With the rapid development in China, rural development has slowed and some existing villages lie empty and dormant.

Acupunctural Approach

When revitalizing the rural area, we utilize existing architectural structures and an ‘acupuntural’ approach, choosing to blend new architecture into the existing, instead of creating completely new structures.

Existing village overall plan

Proposed village overall plan

Existing building to be converted into the summer house

Construction at the library

Local construction techniques.

Zen Living

Considering the beautiful surroundings and the calmness of the region, we wanted to develop typologies which could combine to create one complete ‘zen’ experience of living.

Library diagram

Tree Library

In China, a library does not act as a repository of books, but instead becomes the perfect space within which to study. Calm, quiet, natural, and balanced.

Later construction of the library deck

Using natural materials found around the site

Re-using the trusses from the original building

Work with Locals

Local construction methods and materials in the area have been developed to suit the climate, and so we worked closely with the local builders to develop architecture which suited the sites perfectly.

Site works within the village

Zen House

An open-plan area serves as a complete living and working space, which opens up to the forests just outside.

The building to be renovation into the summer house


Enlarged opening in the summer house to open up to the natural setting

Sketch to Craftsman

Working with natural materials, existing structures, and local craftsmen, many problems need to be solved on site, and so we develop details and tectonics together with the craftsmen on site.

Zen Spa

Relationships are generated between a grouping of existing buildings as they combine together using landscape elements to become a spa within the zen village.

Arrangment of new functions within the spa

Existing structure of the spa

Existing structure of the spa

View from the spa buildings

Zen Landscape

We add to the surrounding and intertwining landscape between the buildings by creating a route with sculptural and landscape elements, for people to experience the natural and to link the buildings together.

Introduction of landscape elements around the routes

Village Center

By extending an existing structure upwards and outwards, we activate the village centre by creating a new activity centre, with new sports facilities.

Recreational facilities diagram

Team: Martijn de Geus, Soon Chern Tan, Victor Tee, Han Zhang

Client: Lishui Municipal Government Planning Department

Project Year: Ongoing

Location: Liangpengxia, Jiangsu Province, China