In late November, I spent a day with Mr. Yang, a Shaxi architect and master woodworker to discuss how to best integrate existing structural elements of the Pear Orchard Temple into future usage. The goal is to allow increased visitor traffic with minimal impact to the environment. As we plan to have a gift shop, vegetarian dining and tea room, we need to consider kitchen usage especially, as it doesn’t currently have anything but two Chinese coal-fired cookers.
Mr. Yang is a great resource when it comes to understanding Shaxi traditional construction and vernacular styles. It’s my job to help him understand about how we want to integrate modern electric, plumbing and lighting that will satisfy guests and the Heritage Bureau.