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IIP-Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture(Bridge to China)
Beijing, China (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Partner Institution/Organization Homepage: Click to visit
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
Fact Sheet:
Dept Offering Program: IIP, International Internship Program (IIP) Program Type: Internship
Language Prerequisite: No Program Features: Community Service, Field Work
Degree Level: 2 First year Ugrad, 3 Sophomore, 4 Junior Time Away: Summer
Housing options: Student Responsibilty with support from IIP and/or Host Organization Program Group: International Internship Program
Program Description:

BUCEA logo   xian 1   xian 5
Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) (Bridge to China)
Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture (BUCEA) is the only university for architecture in Beijing. BUCEA is hosting a new base for Wu Zhi Qiao Charitable Foundation (Bridge to China). The base is named the Research and Development Base of Earth Architecture and aims to develop a platform for research, demonstration, training and education in earth architecture.

Intern responsibilities: IIP interns will contribute to areas of investigation, design study, experiments, field construction and technical on-site supervision, so as to explore and demonstrate a suitable way towards ecological architecture suitable for China's poor rural regions and learn how to design and construct with nature.
IIP interns will work on one or both of the following projects:
  • Visitor Center of Qinling National Botanical Garden, Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, China
    This project is located at the foot of Qinling Mountain which is a famous scenic spot of China and an hour’s drive from Xi’an city. The client, Qinling National Botanical Garden, plans to develop a visitor center, so as to reach the demands for visitors’ reception, tourism guide, accommodation, relaxation, etc.  The visitor center aims to provide visitors with a natural and rural ambience in the form of a tourism town or village, by fully utilizing the original traditional houses, topography and environment. Therefore, a series of design for new buildings, transformation of original houses and landscape is included. The project has been authorized to our team and was launched in September 2016. The design process is going to last for at least 15 months as planned. The assessment of the original buildings and resources have just been completed. The conceptual design is ongoing. In summer 2017, IIP interns will participate a series of detailed design in building, landscape, interior and even construction design.
  • The Research and Development Base of Earth Architecture, Beijing, China
    Supported by Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural Development of China, a research and development center is going to be design and built to meet demands of our team for research, demonstration, training and education in earth architecture. The proposed site is located in a village with a 1.5 hour’s drive from Beijing City. Our team works as both the client and designer. The master planning was just launched and is proposed to be completed in May 2017. Therefore, the IIP interns will participate in the whole process of design for building components.
Qualifications: Candidates with interests in architecture and civil engineering are encouraged to apply. Since the earth-based technology is easy to handle, IIP interns can participate not only in the design scheme, construction experiments, and on-site design during construction, but also parts of construction work.

Previous work experiences (in the words of past IIP interns): Intern #1: I helped with the construction of a village center in a village called Macha in the Gansu Province. There were there master's students from Xian who are in charge and I assisted them. Intern #2: We worked on repair and aesthetic improvements to the facade of many of the buildings at the Macha Village Complex in the Gansu Province. We also went to Guanxi and helped refurbish an old  building to be used as a common space. Responsibilities were similar: providing labor and design recommendations. This experience has taught me many things about sustainable design and how to use earth's natural resources to create modern buildings. I learned simple ways of doing things with out the use of modern appliances. I also learned a great deal about Chinese architecture from the past and present. Intern #3: My work responsibilities coincided closely with the Macha village project. I worked on site to help contribute to the construction of the project. I helped to repair rammed earth walls and worked to improve the overall appearance of the building complex as it gets close to completion. Aside from the Macha project I also worked on a renovation project near Guilin in the Guangxi Province. It aimed to take a traditional dwelling and turn it into a exhibition hall that would then serve as a village center. On site we were able to help with small construction tasks and contribute ideas. Due to the nature of the old site and difficulties in finding materials locally there was much collaboration and brainstorming that needed to be done. We learned about the vitality and resilience of rammed earth technology, an ancient yet seemingly forgotten architectural practice that is key to attaining environmental sustainability in rural villages that are becoming increasingly reliant on fossil-fuel-burning modern technologies. Princeton's curriculum is often very theoretical in nature, forcing students to consider the "why?" in many situations. Our ability to provide input allowed us to help steer the project managers toward adhering its original mission and intent: providing an example of a modern building (in aesthetics and amenities) that exemplifies the usage of rammed earth technology.

View PowerPoint presentations from past IIP interns:
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #1
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #2
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #3
Xi'an University of Architecture and Technology intern #4

Dates / Deadlines:
This program is not currently accepting applications. Please consult the sponsoring department's website for application open dates.
This program is currently not accepting applications.