The first part of the workshop is building mock-up tests with the local bricklayers and carpenters. The aim of the workshop was to build good working relationships with these villagers, understand local construction techniques and reinvent them. The photo above were test runs recording the brick patterns that already exists in the village.
Following that we started testing out the combination of brick with timber – one of the most important connections in traditional Chinese architecture. It was observed that in a typical wall, the insertion of timber into bricks were either 1) leaving spaces during construction of the wall (like in the picture above) or 2) placing timber above the wall without any bracing (like below).
We wanted to explore the idea of flexibility through creating multiple possible locations for insertion of timber. That resulted in a number of mock ups:
Creating a new pattern with the bricks, it was important to ensure sufficient overlapping between horizontal and vertical layers of bricks. Mud mortar was used to temporary fix the bricks together.