d+a | Issue 116 • Jun/July 2020

75 “As there may be slight differences in measurements between the drawings and existing construction, we could not prefabricate the structural beams in the factory and had to process and manufacture them on site. “Lofting was done to create wooden models of the main curved beams of the veranda in a 1: 1 ratio for comparison on site. The craftsmen then proceed to process the bamboo-based, fibre-composite material based on the models, resulting in a much longer construction cycle. “Furthermore, we had to be on site during each new phase to inspect and check things like the alignment to ensure the desired design effect.” As traditional roofs are not installed with any waterproofing membrane, they are prone to develop leaks over time. Moreover, they also have poor thermal insulation performance. Therefore, one major improvement the team did was to add insulation and waterproofing layers underneath the original grey tiled rooftops. For Han and the team, the best way to “preserve” an old building is to make it “useable”. “Many old buildings were being restored as an attraction, and as such, they lost the living element. “We hope to include this usability in our restoration of Qishe to enrich the lives of those using this space. “Of course, we also need to adhere to certain restoration principles, such as incorporating the traces of time into the overall design,” Han concludes. 6. The back courtyard consists of two bedrooms, a tea room and study. The undulating veranda floor plan was designed to accommodate three existing trees. / 7. A neutral palette was used for the bedrooms and light fixtures were concealed in the roof structure to avoid exposed light bulbs, keeping the atmosphere cosy. 7 6