DASHILAR PILOT 2011 - 2015
Dashilar Pilot was an important part in the area's Nodal Development renewal scheme, landing small-scale interventions as best-practice initiatives for the development of the area.
This was a long-term investment in creative projects which explore the possibilities of a wide range of collaborations between architects, designers, artists, local residents, and business owners. Starting from launching a few examples in the area, the project aimed to activate the creativity within Dashilar and to grow a community that can create and build the area together.
Dashilar’s architectural, as well as it’s cultural, history is woven into the sedimental bricolage of the often ad-hoc, and increasingly dilapidated, residential and commercial buildings within its environs. Unlike many of the other historic areas ofBeijing, Dashilar was never trapped in some, late Qing dynasty die. Successive system’s, government’s and economy’s have all impressed upon the built environment. Less effective in leaving its mark constructively has perhaps been Beijing’s rapid evolution of its speculative property market. As Dashilar was left relatively untouched during the market reforms of the 90’s and 00’s it has retained its urban fabric and historic authenticity, but lost its stature and standard of living. Though still retaining some of this rich cultural history, Dashilar, despite its poor architectural quality, still houses and hosts a populous community of residents, tourists and passersby. It is not however only the historic architecture and traditional urban fabric that are endangered. Due to a lack of public facilities, no responsive engineering to its aged infrastructure, and the impact from globalised mass tourism on small traditional businesses and craftsmen, an entire community is under threat. Dashilar Pilots a series of special pilot projects that aim to take on these challenges as an opportunity to make creative thinking truly matter.