Over the last 15 months, one instructor and six students from Dongguan University of Technology’s architecture department created a Heritage Trail. The project is a self-guided tour through unique Guancheng sites. Each location is marked by a plaque with a photo, brief introduction and two QR codes. Scan them with a mobile device and you’ll learn about the architectural importance and history of the location, or the project itself.
To conserve the old city center, instructor Yuan Yifeng and his crew walked the alleys of Guancheng discovering 814 buildings with architectural value. Picking 25 to research, they made suggestions to local government and planning departments for preservation. “The purpose of the project is that we wanted to do some earnest investigations about the city, and publicize the results to the public,” said Yuan.
Last summer, they discovered the Tan Mansion, a 100-year-old house that is a combination of local and Western architecture designs. Most of the owner’s family had moved overseas and the house faced demolition, but they found a descendant in Guangzhou, redrew the building’s blueprint and prepared renovation plans. They are hoping to rebuild the house once they have the funds. “Most people like these old buildings, but they don’t really think about what they have to do with our city and life here.”