Peng Li graduated from Delft University in 2007 with a master's degree of architecture. He has many years of practical experience in architectural design in China and abroad. In 2013 , he joined in the School of Architecture &Applied Arts, Guangzhou academy of Fine Arts(GAFA) as a professional teacher, as well as the director of Urban&Architecture Studio.
Based on the background of the GAFA, he gradually observes the city as both an artist and an architect, treating the transformation and renewal of urban space in experimental artistic thinking and attitude, exploring the topics on the social organization renewal in urban spatial renewal.
At the same time, as a professional architect, Peng Li actively cooperates with Guangzhou Urban Elephant Architectural Design Consulting Co.Ltd, and has achieved a lot of research and practice works on the revitalization and utilization of architectural heritage, urban space transformation, public space reconstruction in the transformation process, social organization innovation and other aspects in the Pearl River Delta region.
Contributions of the project
1、To infuse modern life into traditional settlements: the project is a balance between urbanization and preservation of a traditional settlement. On the preservation of the historical and cultural resources, through the modernization of the infrastructure and public environment , the living condition of original residents should be greatly improved.
2、Restoration of township covenant social organization through “public participation”: this project is a kind of activation of social organization. Faced with the decline of social structure and the chaos of spatial structure, based on the traditional clan relationship, through the public participation, the independent management organization and cultural identity of villagers are gradually restored, making Puntoon village a modern complex urban residential area with the characteristics of traditional township covenant organization .
The value and influence in the field of art
After Joseph Beuys, the value of contemporary public art is no longer the traditional form of artistic expression, but through any form of artistic creation, including objects，events and behaviors. A art should be defined to rethink and rebuild a belief which is a relationship between people, and between people and things. This relationship includes the discussion and definition of important issues such as historical and cultural values, public space, and modernity.
Based on actual construction projects, this project focuses on many social issues, such as property rights change, traditional lifestyle change, public interest intervention, historical features and memory loss, etc, behind the spatial transformation in the process of urbanization. Being both a architect and a artist, combined with the dual means of building landscape environment and public participation action to reconstruct the public space, which becomes the artistic value and experiment of this project.
Its inspiration and impact on the public
At the level of government management: the innovation of this project combines public participation in spatial renewal with construction, and there are many innovative points in the mechanism of project design and implementation. At the 9th Plenary Session of the 10th Session in 2021, Guangzhou government mainly mentioned the Puntoon Village Project and affirmed its innovation and implementation effect in Guangzhou urban renewal.
At the social level, the micro-transformation of Puntoon Village has been completed after more than three years since it was launched in 2016. During this period, the project was fortunate to get support and attention from different related reports nearly 30 times. This project also has published 6 articles and won 3 provincial and municipal professional awards.
Creating background and locality
Puntoon Village is located by Lychee Bay in Xiguan, Guangzhou. The Lychee Bay has evolved from the royal gardens and orchards in the Han and Tang dynasties, to the famous countryside, private gardens and mansions of merchants and celebrities in Ming and Qing dynasties, and to the Liwan Lake Park after the establishment of PRC in 1949 and finally today’s urban open space. While passing on the beauty of Lingnan gardens, the Puntoon Village and its surrounding area have seen a growing tendency of public nature. Puntoon Village is the only local settlement in the historic district that retains the complete layout, pattern and typical plain features from Qing Dynasty, which has been the home to both onshore Tanka and clans of various surnames.
Because of continuous urbanization, Puntoon Area gradually transformed from traditional agricultural and fishing settlements into low-rent housing and warehouses dependent on commercial economy, which broke the social relationship established upon clans and shattered the community’s sense of security and recognition, because of the aging aborigines, new immigrants and flowing short tenants. Therefore, to rebuild the sense of identity, transform the programs, modernize the living standard and improve spatial publicness became the most challenging tasks and goals for transforming Puntoon Village and every other urban villages into modern residential communities. There is always a paradox in this process, which is the conflict between restoring the traditional landscape of the village and meeting the requirements of the modern life.
Therefore, this project is in the premise of historical and cultural heritage resources, for a specific environment and the problem using specific "minimally invasive" transformation strategy, from the micro level of accurately solve the problem, gradually improve the quality of the overall living environment and space of the village, and through times of participatory planning to assist local residents to restore local folk culture activities.
The interdisciplinary collaboration in the project
This project in the process of construction, set up jointly platform or the negotiation and coordination under the government's initiative committee, as well as the public media, the clients, construction units, the local villagers, by means of participatory planning and design. It is set up the mechanism of dialogue and coordination, also introduced including anthropology, geography, management experts and scholars participate in the discussion.
The creative concept
1、The micro-renovation of in Puntoon Village is based on the spatial renewal of urban villages under the historic preservation: the project maintains the spatial pattern and texture of settlements in villages since Ming and qing dynasties, reconstructs the regional public space system, and preserves and recreates the features and spatial quality of traditional villages.
2、The project is a social organization renewal with multi-collaboration and public participaiton: the project has embarked on a development direction different from the traditional planning logic. This project is based on multi-cooperation of various resources and coordinate with the local government and civil forces. This is a new idea that overturns the old urban and rural renewal mode and forces the transformation and renewal of space to develop in the direction of multi-cooperation.
3、This is a new idea to subvert the past urban-rural renewal model by establishing an open source platform organization with the participation of multiple professional forces and cross-border collaboration.Under the circumstances of urban renewal in the historic centre of the category of conservation and the activation in conventional commercial planning and design program, the efforts by planning, landscape, architecture, historical culture conservation, participation, community building, space, activation, inheritance and spatial knowledge popularization education, policy, translation, innovation of system and decision-making process, a variety of technologies and means of communication. Reconstructing the relationship between space and users, including residents and community groups, seeking the balance and new possibilities of protection, development, renewal and utilization, forcing the transformation and renewal of space to develop towards a direction of multi-party consultation and cooperation.
All copyright belongs to Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University.