This villa is located in plot #93 of the ORDOS project.
Architects: LTL Architects
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China
Project Team: Marc Tsurumaki, Paul Lewis, David J. Lewis, Kate Snider, Deric Mizokami, Laura Cheung
Design year: 2008
Construction year: 2009-2010
Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China
Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China
Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm aprox
This project for a villa in Inner Mongolia responds to the unique pressures of a highly unusual site and context. Commissioned by a private client and part of a larger urban expansion of the burgeoning regional capital, it constitutes one of one hundred houses commissioned for the residential district of a planned developed galvanized around the arts. Each of the houses is designed by an architect according to a relatively uniform set of parameters: a defined spatial volume and relationship to site. As such, the design had to respond to several principal conditions:
- The physical context and climate of the Gobi desert and the Mongolian steppe, with its aridity, intense light and extremes of climate.
- The limitations of labor and material associated with the area – simple brick and concrete frame construction are the prevalent techniques.
- The master plan for the site and the related pressures of densely arrayed architecturally designed houses, each of which is unique.
The design for the house attempts to catalyze these highly specific parameters to produce an architectural logic which would be robust enough to withstand translation into local constructional practices beginning with a series of speculative questions: What if the relation between clustered private rooms and open plan public spaces in a house could be intensified through section? What if a house could be both introverted and extroverted, combining exteriority and interiority, shelter and exposure in a single spatial logic? This house seeks to find the balance between maximizing extensions into the landscape, maintaining intimacy for the owners and integrating with the closely organized plan of Ordos. The form of the house is stretched east and west along the site to maximize the southern exposure. The house is then split into two distinct horizontal zones: a solid mass of private rooms hovering above an open floor plan of public spaces.
While the upper volume is solid and inwardly-focused, the ground plan is expansive, extending the space of the house into the surrounding site as a series of courtyards.