Tofu Factory and Caizhai Village in Songyang, Lishui

Caizhai Village is a traditional mountain village built along Shicang River over the past two hundred years. The village has always been known for its best tofu production in the county region. But the products from the traditional family workshops could not fit into current food certificate standards to be able to sell in supermarkets.

Songyang still has certain advantages over other, more remote regions. On the one hand, the area boasts beautiful, largely untouched nature and ample space, but is still reasonably easy to reach from the major cities. Yet the regional authorities did not want to focus on tourism alone, aiming instead to boost the local economy and traditional crafts first and foremost. They decided explicitly against a single, glitzy building and chose to invest in a number of small and micro projects that were to be developed in close cooperation with the relevant village communities – a comprehensive strategy of sustainability. A few initial architecture firms were sought out for this purpose, and collaboration proved particularly fruitful with DnA, the studio of Xu Tiantian.