Dujiangyan workshop - Sichuan, China
Summer workshop, 2010

Urban emergencies: Sichuan was a 1-month workshop in Sichuan province in western China. Organised by Urban Emergencies, International Forum on Urbanism, TU Delft, and Southwest Jiaotong University, it aimed to explore the possibilities of (re)development after catastrophic natural disasters such as the 2008 Sichuan earth quake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and levelled many cities. The case study was the heavily damaged city of Dujiangyan.

Considering the current developments in Dujiangyan city affecting its urban heritage, the ancient alleyway running parallel on the west side of the river, West Street, is exceedingly interesting. The street was once a vital Silk road connection from the west into China. Later, in 19th century, it became heaven for craft makers, before they were sent off to work in the factories under Mau in the 1950’s. Today, the street is predominantly residential with some small-scale informal commercial activity. The families are intimate neighbours and have lived there for generations.
The informal, neighbourly activities one can observe today reflects the perseverance of the self-made culture that is routed in the craft making history of the street.
However, the valuable historic fabric of Dujiangyan is vulnerable to the policy of tourism and foreign development, as top-down visionaries promote leisure and commerce and questions remain how the ancient infrastructures and architecture at the verge of disappearing, will be dealt with.
An intense workshop took place in order to get familiar with the historical, political and social situation of the place as long as with its architectural qualities and propose solutions which are relevant to the specific area.
The proposed spatial interventions are related to the urban scale (design of circulation routes that facilitate the access to the area or its connection with the surroundings), neighbourhood scale (reformation of urban blocks) and architectural scale (design of dwelling typologies ‐ structures with the use of local materials).


Group project

Worked on: Site analysis - Research on local house typologies, materials and structural techniques - Design of a two storey house - Exhibition posters

Supervisors: Alexander Vollebregt (Assistant Professor Urbanism - Head of the Urban Emergencies Programme, TU Delft)
Design team: Ifigeneia Dilaveraki, Laura Massry, Liang Ruixing, Xiao Shuai, Evelien de Visser, Lu Yijian, Tian Yu, Xiaoqin Zhang



Ifigeneia Dilaveraki