This villa is located in plot #35 of the ORDOS project.

Architects: FRENTE / Juan Pablo Maza
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia,
Design year: 2008
Construction year: 2009
Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China
Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China
Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox

concept diagrams

The immediate context drove the decision of designing an introvert villa. As a result of the extreme weather, it has been chosen to bury the house taking advantage of the generosity of underground temperatures and therefore neutralizing the harsh winter and summer weather conditions.

On the other hand, realizing the good weather during spring and autumn times, the villa responds to this duality by leaving a part of the construction completely exposed, and therefore completely extrovert. This way, the villa celebrates the duality of an introvert-extrovert house.

section 02

By taking advantage of the apparent duplicity of the required areas, eighty percent of the program has been maintained in a “big villa” (buried), which lives around an internal courtyard, in a scheme that promotes family interaction and emphasizes the sence of community. The duplicate program is separated and put into a mass equals to the size of the courtyard, thus creating a private “small villa” (floating) which gains the views and gives any family member the opportunity of temporal isolation.

By dividing the program (underground and floating), the ground floor is freed allowing it to be used as public space without loosing privacy.

The main landscape idea, is to suggest a forest within a desert environment. This forest is made out of steel columns that act as “camouflage” for the floating villa’s structure, and also gives the visitors a consciousness of trespassing private area.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "ORDOS 100 #26: FRENTE" 12 Mar 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 28 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=16355>
  • Lulu

    forest out of steel columns? No, thanks.

  • telve

    it’s the first time i have seen a project that is absolutely ‘poetic’ in that ‘ordos100 project’.

    Thank you FRENTE for your fabulus work!

  • David

    Genius, poetic, beautiful and imaginative
    I love this website

  • Bo

    2ой нормальный проект Ордос, и первый который нравиться!

  • http://twitter.com/dcarnelossi/status/1321403399 Daniel Carnelossi

    Isso é arquitetura para arquitetos – http://migre.me/8b7

  • Norman

    Absolutely agreed with telve. It floats.

  • Bernie Madoff

    I feel like I am taking crazy pills here. This “thing” is shamelessly ridiculous. If you want poetry, read Unamuno or Borges. Someone could commit suicide living in such a state of absurdity day and night.

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  • http://twitter.com/bozena/status/1322423259 Bozena Chorazewicz

    extreme architecture for extreme climate http://bit.ly/iXVy

  • Partick Bateman

    more ORDROSS.

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  • http://www.odris.blogspot.com odris

    like birdcage

  • verclempt

    stunningly cerebral.

  • Lucas

    Very nice.

  • Ponzie

    Bernie, I agree completely, this house is ridiculous. It seems the west has succeeded in exporting the worst of it’s architectural ideas to the east. Bravo. Why have ONE ridiculously large house when you can have TWO… so neatly connected by a curvy stair. There is nothing “cerebral” about this house unless you’re really into resource inefficiency. Horrible.

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  • http://twitter.com/kaimere/status/1323340430 Mike Rock

    a new kind of villa http://tinyurl.com/cg9wpk

  • http://twitter.com/trw_ict/status/1323898072 Troy R. Wells
  • juan

    look nice whithout the others houses around, i don`t like it

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  • Ceno

    floating box, never seen anything like this before, great job

  • http://www.montagedesignbuild.com.pk Sadia Hayat

    its not poetic………. i think its naive ….. architecture needs to be far more sophisticated than this…….. its too literal

  • Partick Bateman

    in 10 years, people will wander around this architectural zoo and wonder what the hell happened in 2009.

    it’s an exhibition of some of the worst non site specific, banal architecture i have ever seen.

    can you imagine living here?

    it is abysmal

  • Ralph Kent

    You said: “steel columns that act as “camouflage” for the floating villa’s structure”

    I say: What villa? I couldn’t even see it through those dense columns. Someone pass me a machete, and I’ll see if I can clear a path….

    The remarkable thing is that clients still buy into this BS. That in itself is quite a charming anachronism, I suppose?

  • pedja

    pure imagination…love it!

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  • eno

    well,it really looks nice when there’s on other buildings aronud it.
    i’d like to see the site plan first.
    architecture will not be itself when it took out of the surroundings.

  • Phillipe Donato

    the project is really nice, but this columns are absolutely unnecessary .