Completion of Macha Village Centre: a Modern Rammed-earth Architecture to Foster a Sense of Community Life for Villagers

The Macha Village Centre, which was jointly planned and developed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development of P.R.C. and Wu Zhi Qiao (Bridge to China) Charitable Foundation, was successfully completed on 30th of July in Macha Village, Huining County, Gansu. Following the success of “Demonstration Project of Advanced Rammed Earth Eco-Dwellings “, this project has been launched not only to foster community life of villagers and community development, but also to help people overcome the stereotype that earth architecture is a sign of backwardness and further showcase quality and modern village earth architecture for future villages. During the 2-year construction period, more than 110 university student volunteers from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas and around 40 local villagers contributed to the project.

The Macha Village Centre, which has a total area of 648 square metres, will provide a public area that fosters the bonds of people in the local community. It comprises of a multi-function hall, a reading room, a water cellar, an outdoor public plaza and many other facilities. In the early days of its opening, around 30 university volunteers actively worked with the local villagers to start up different cultural activities in the newly constructed centre, including traditional paper cutting and shadow puppetry, a traditional form of storytelling and entertainment which has not been staged in the village for almost ten years. The villagers also played basketball and danced together with the volunteers in the plaza of the centre. In just one week, nearly a thousand of villagers have been engaged in those events.

With the establishment of the centre, Wu Zhi Qiao will continue to exploit rammed-earth techniques to improve the living conditions of villagers in future. Also, Wu Zhi Qiao will continue to promote rammed-earth techniques, and organize university student volunteers from Hong Kong and the Mainland to launch more activities in the centre to enhance villager’s community life.

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The local students are learning how to do waste separation.

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The villagers are performing shadow puppetry, an traditional form of storytelling and entertainment.

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The volunteers are making recreational facilities for the centre.

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The local students are using reading room of the centre.

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More than 110 university student volunteers from Hong Kong, the Mainland and overseas and around 40 local villagers contributed to the centre construction.