The Huaxia Star Library is a simple but remarkable building. Built from prefabricated chipboard panels, the modest structure in a rural town in the Chinese province of Hebei was constructed in a single week, by untrained labor.
How, you ask? The project, headed up by Dot Architects, is part of the WikiHouse open source architecture platform, which makes building plans available to the public to download for free. In the case of the Huaxia Star Library, Dot Architects wanted to construct an addition to the Er-tai elementary school that was economical but sturdy, and didn’t require expensive skilled labor to build.
The resulting building resembles other WikiHouse projects with its pitched roof frame that stretches lengthwise like a shotgun house. The 43 volunteers constructed the building from prefab panels that sandwich a layer of insulation. The three identical modules were craned in and then affixed to an erected frame in a staggered layout.
Though the library’s form is relatively basic, it shows how a single WikiHouse blueprint can be used to create entirely different buildings. You can go sleek and modern, full on wood-beamed hygge, or keep it simple like this library.