Panjiayuan market is situated between the second and third ring road in the center of Beijing. Panjiayuan originally began as a ghost market where aristocrats would sell off their prized family heirlooms to make money; thus creating a sense of taboo around this activity. In 1995, Panjiayuan officially became the market that it is today, as the government provided it with a designated site. This site was originally a brick factory which manufactured the grey brick that is commonly used in the construction of traditional hutongs. Over the years the site has gone through a series of changes.
Being respectful to the Chinese sensational attachment to Shan Shui (meaning mountain and water), represented by picturesque mountains, greenery, water, and the irregular, rough, and human-scale environment they construct, our schematic concept of the market is related to the idea of a valley. Additionally, looking at the name of Panjiayuan Antiques Market, “Jia” means home, family, and community; our plan is aimed at bringing back the community into the market and bringing the market into the community. Hence, our proposal is called Panjiagu--Pan’s Community Valley. Drawing from our experiences and observations during our site visits to the market, we developed a series of concept drivers to address six key issues with the current market, namely: the isolation from the surrounding community, transit concerns, lack of community space, impervious cover, scale, and authenticity. Essentially, our proposal retains the main function of the site as an antiques market whilst adding additional program such as workshops, teahouses, restaurants, educational facilities, and various public spaces to bolster the visitor’s experience to the market. With these new programs, our project cultivates and increases the appreciation of cultural knowledge whilst become a gem for the surrounding community.