SITE:  Word Heritage Pingyao Ancient Town, China

DATE:  23rd August – 5th September 2019 (2 Weeks)

Tongji University
RUANYISAN Heritage Foundation Shanghai            

HOST:  Pingyao County’s Government





VERNADOC (Vernacular Document) is a compound word referring to the research of vernacular architectures through the methods of measuring and drawing.

The first official international work camp named VERNADOC was held in Finland in 2005, since then it has become a global activity successfully held in more than 10 countries and attracts more and more volunteers. After 2010, it has became the official pre-event of ICOMOS-CIAV annual conference and jointly hosted by ICOMOS-CIAV. Through the exhibition of two-weeks work, participants can quickly learn about the materials and architectural styles of local vernacular architectures, and go to further discussion on conservation and other issues based on it.

The 2019 CIAV VERNADOC will be held in Pingyao, China this year from August 23rd to September 5th.


Theme:The Beauty of Vernacular Architecture Going Public

It is not possible to protect the built vernacular environment and to maintain the local building tradition only by governmental money or regulations. More important is that people will understand the worth of their tradition and they are proud of it. (Markku Mattila, 2005).

As a living world heritage, there are still 20,000 people living in the Pingyao Ancient Town. Their any restoration or self-reconstruction of dwellings directly affects the OUV of world heritage. Therefore, while constructing a global knowledge base for vernacular architectures in China, our VERNADOC camp hopes more to attract local residents or people interested in vernacular architecture to participate, by touching and feeling the buildings in this 2 weeks to enhance the understanding of vernacular architecture and be conscious of the beauty and conservation awareness.


ObjectPingyao Dwellings

Pingyao is an exceptionally well-preserved example of a traditional Han Chinese city, its urban fabric reveal the evolution of architectural styles and town-planning in Imperial China over five centuries. The traditional dwellings in the ancient town are the most typical and characteristic local vernacular architecture representatives.

So, the 2019 CIAV VERNADOC’s object is decided to document the dwellings. 1 or 2 groups of traditional courtyards (either in use, either special) will be chosen for documentation. 



The camp will last for two weeks. The first week is for site measuring and documentation, participants will work together to measure the house by levels, measuring tapes and other simple equipments. The second week is inking week indoor. The group will divided to draw the plan, façade, section, details of the dwellings seperatly. Each of the participants will complete high quality drawing(s) within two weeks.

The participants will be awarded a certificate at the end of the camp.

In addition to the above content, this year’s camp will also arrange vernacular architecture conservation lectures, local craftsman introductions, residents visiting and communications, and investigating tour of world heritage sites according to the process and recruitment of local residents.



Basic English except local participants



All the participants are in charge of their travel expenses to Pingyao. 

Local accommodation and meals will be provided by the organizer and host.


Participants:  20 Total

All the participants should have passion for the conservation of vernacular architecture and be ready to spend the whole time together in the field and work in harsh conditions. Participants should use their own tools and materials with basic documentation skills.

-8-10 International Veterans

Recommended by experienced VD-veterans/organizers, People who have rich experience in organizing international VERNADOC are in priority.

-6-8 Domestic Professionals

Available to all experienced professionals in vernacular architecture, students or postgraduates with relevant architecture background. VD-veterans are in priority.

-2-5 Local Participants

Available to residents who are interested in local vernacular architecture


Applicants should send a short CV including personal information, intention, experience in relevant workshop and one drawing on-site to our official mail:


All applications must be submitted before June 30th. Result of selection will be informed by mail after July 5th.


Please download the  2019 CIAV-VERNADOC announcement hereChinese Ver / English Ver






  • International Council on Monuments and Sites- International Committee on Vernacular Architecture (ICOMOS-CIAV)
  • International Council on Monuments and Sites- International Scientific Committee on Earthen Architectural Heritage (ICOMOS-ISCEAH)
  • Chinese National Committee for the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS CHINA)
  • World Heritage Institute of Training and Research for the Asia and the Pacific Region under the auspices of UNESCO (WHITRAP Shanghai)
  • The Academic Committee of Historical and Cultural City Planning, the Urban Planning Society of China (ACHCCP-UPSC)
  • Committee of Urban and Rural Built Heritage-ASC (CURBH-ASC)
  • Tongji University, CHINA

Academic Supporting Partners

  • Urban Planning Society of China
  • Architectural Society of China
  • Heritage Architecture
  • Built Heritage


  • Shanghai Tongji Urban Planning & Design InstituteCO.,LTD.
  • Tongji Architectural Design (Group) Co., Ltd.(TJAD)


  • Pingyao County CPC Committee
  • Pingyao County People’s Government




Online Q&A
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