The Latest Exhibition at Aedes Showcases the Transformation of Stone Quarries into Cultural Infrastructure

Aedes Architecture Forum has recently inaugurated “Jinyun Quarries-The Quarry as Stage”, an exhibition that showcases how abandoned stone quarries in Zhejiang Province have been transformed into a platform for cultural, and social activities. Xu Tiantian, a Beijing architect, and DnA_Design and Architecture were tasked to develop a new public infrastructure within nine mines in Jinyun County. This will open up new economic opportunities for the residents. The exhibition runs until May 5, and will showcase the incredible spatiality of stone quarries. It also demonstrates the complexity of these structures through a series model, plan, and photograph of the interventions.

© Wang Ziling,  DnA_Design and Architecture

Over 3000 abandoned quarries are found in the mountainous Jinyun County, Zhejiang Province. These used to be manual mines. Xu Tiantian, an architect with extensive experience in revitalizing rural areas through “architectural acupuncture”, was tasked in 2021 to develop new programmatic strategies. These interventions were intended to improve the ecology of the area and provide new opportunities for rural residents. In order to capitalize on the area’s tourism appeal, the pits were transformed into a venue for cultural activities.

© Wang Ziling,  DnA_Design and Architecture

Each location has a radius of one kilometre and includes footpaths and stairs connecting the different forms in the rock. Some cathedral-like spaces were converted into traditional Wu opera performance spaces due to their excellent acoustics. Many stone chambers can be used as teahouses. A few platforms offer a view of the surrounding landscape. A restaurant and an education center are also planned. Visitors can enjoy the unique spatiality, light, and acoustics found in the nine quarries.

In the creation of the exhibition, the emphasis on ecology and reconciliation was also evident. Aedes received the models made in China by train. The most sustainable way to transport them was via rail. Other components were manufactured in Berlin. The Architectural Forum presents a large-scale installation that recreates the feeling of stone quarries.

© Wang Ziling,  DnA_Design and Architecture