Ciqikou ancient town restored and updated

Ciqikou Ancient Town, known as a hallmark of Chongqing, has acquired a unique charm through the presence of various traces of everyday life. The efficacy of restoration lies in harmoniously blending the old and the new, achieving a balance between people and the environment, and presenting a subtle and natural manifestation of the town's distinctive allure.

Ciqikou Ancient Town is situated along the Jialing River in the Shapingba District of Chongqing, China. Renowned for its distinct geographical location and rich cultural heritage, it is characterized by ancient architecture, narrow alleyways, and streets paved with stone slabs. The town exudes a captivating charm with its bustling human activity and diverse daily life scenes, enchanting visitors with its timeless allure. As urban development progresses, the inner blocks of the town have encountered various signs of aging, requiring facilities to be updated. Preserving the town's historical ambiance is a shared aspiration of local residents and tourists alike. This project explores how to initiate a minor transformation within limited spatial conditions by subtly reviving and protecting historical elements, thus achieving a balance between tradition and modernity.
|Transformation Strategy: "Seams and Patches"
Throughout its long history, the local traces of everyday life have gradually shaped the unique charm of the ancient town. By removing unnecessary design elements, we aim to highlight the clarity of historical traces. Our restoration work encompasses various aspects, including architecture, landscapes, interiors, and logos, and adheres to an integrated approach. Through meticulous restoration and preservation efforts, we seek to organically combine historical elements with modern functionalities, striking a delicate balance between tradition and modernity.
|Public Participation
We extensively solicit opinions and suggestions from residents and tourists, ensuring that the transformation plan aligns with the interests and expectations of the local community. Public participation enhances the transparency and sustainability of the restoration efforts, fostering a sense of ownership among local residents.
|Market life scene reproduction
Optimize the operation space to provide development opportunities for merchants and entrepreneurs in the alley. It is worth noting that these potential Spaces are not over-designed, but simulate the undesigned state in order to fully release their inherent value and charm. Through these initiatives, the alley potential space will be revitalized, providing a unique and valuable element to the overall image and experience of the old town.
|Intervention with Minimal Disruption
Adopting a strategy of subtle interventions, we will make minor adjustments and updates to scattered elements in the old streets while preserving the original landscape and minimizing the impact on the environment, ensuring that the restoration work has minimal effects on the surroundings.
|Connecting Fragments to Form a Whole
Organically connecting different segments of the ancient town to create a unified landscape. By coordinating and linking the quality of the main streets and alleyways, we maintain the continuity and flow of the ancient town, enhancing the overall experience for visitors.

Project Location: Chongqing, China

Client Name: Chongqing Xuchen Industrial Development Group Co., Ltd.

Designer: XJ Design Agency

Design Scope: Landscape, Architecture, Signage Design, On-Site Supervision

Design date: 2021

Completion date: March 2022