We’ve built you a better ArchDaily. Learn more and let us know what you think. Send us your feedback »

ORDOS 100 #35: Christ & Gantenbein

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: Christ & Gantenbein Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Project Team: Emanuel Christ, Christoph Gantenbein, Cloé Gattigo, Hugo Mesquita, Sven Richter, Andrea Sauter, Kai Timmermann 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

The 058 villa is at the same time a simple house following the rules of the masterplan, as a surprisingly rich spatial system offering unexpected relations of the interior and the exterior, creating a private labyrinth to live in. To the outside the fragmented geometry of the volume and the mirror cladding create a distance; the house is present and absent at the same time.

The project deals about privacy within a dense urban settlement. Nothing reveals from the outside, that 058 is a courtyard house. The living spaces are organized around an enclosed space whose mirroring surfaces, similar to the external ones, give it an infinite appearance. The mirrors chimerically open the courtyard into the wideness of the inner-Mongolian landscape. One single tree planted in the centre is multiplied into a forest. So the 058-villa has a secret mystic private space completely different from the urban public space around the house.

ground floor plan
ground floor plan

The courtyard is formed by a folded façade with sharp polygonal edges, most parts consist of filled walls with a cladding of mirroring glass, other parts have floor-to-ceiling windows. The mirrors reflect the sunlight, mainly in winter, when the sun is low, into the courtyard. The floor is covered by irregular broken natural stone.

The system of the house consists of slabs of walls and windows. As the inner and outer façade are similar, and the geometry of the floor plan non-rectangular, the rooms create a labyrinth-like system of spaces. In this system the outer world, once the surrounding, once the courtyard, appear unexpectedly like images in the interior.

In a maximum contrast to the crystal-like sharp exterior, the interior is a down-to-earth-architecture: white plaster (walls), terrazzo (floor) and concrete (ceilings) are the only materials. They express the present space, the architecture’s task to create a protected space.

Cite:Nico Saieh. "ORDOS 100 #35: Christ & Gantenbein" 13 Apr 2009. ArchDaily. Accesed . <http://www.archdaily.com/18930/ordos-100-35-christ-gantenbein/>