ORDOS 100 #43: Tatiana Bilbao


This villa is located in plot #52 of the ORDOS project.

Architects: Tatiana Bilbao
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia,
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 design is based on the archetype form of a house.

The concept is composed of a study of seven different sections with different shapes.


The core concept of seven sections creates a continuity of exterior and interior spaces that correspond to each other.

The design creates spaces transforming the inside outside relationship and developing a form which questions the extroverted and introverted nature of a house.


The interior circulation orientates along the main axis of the building and makes the flow of different spaces inhabitable.

Various patios and openings give divers light in the rooms.

Internal view connections give the experience of totality for all rooms in the building.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "ORDOS 100 #43: Tatiana Bilbao" 28 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=30314>


    • fengfeng


      • amberx


  • L&V

    cool lookin model!

  • André Moraes

    well done project, weird at first looking, but well organized and clean.

  • imagine

    so interesting, love it so much

  • http://hechoensitio.blogspot.com/ Eduardo A.

    Good project, mention separated for the great scale model

    • Durban

      Thats not a scale model bud. Its this new thing called a digital render, theyre much easier. No glue required!!

      • ygogolak

        Actually it is a physical model, bud.

  • http://www.archilocus.com archilocus

    Nice reinterpretation of the standard dwelling with a gable roof, although I’m more sceptical about the closing of the void / counter-form which is of course not mentioned here.

  • mart

    what motivated the shapes of the various sections? just a good eye or is it tied back to something deeper? in any case, i love this project.

  • park

    Spatially very boring. It’s a stuffy house, nothing more.

    • http://www.archilocus.com archilocus

      I don’t get it, it’s almost the contrary to me… I find interesting the way Tatiana Bilbao integrates possible interactions and social space within a standard dwelling typology by turning the building inside out.
      My concern is that it would have been better within a traditional suburb plot, or in a small village in Europe, enhancing the contrast with the neighbours. I don’t see the point to reuse a westerner house type in the middle of nowhere (desert or so) in inner mongolia…

      • Archlad

        Interesting comment mate, and nice website as well, congrats!

      • sp

        have you seen what’s being built in Ordos (aside from this project)… it’s basically iterations of western typologies of housing. The same developer IS building suburbia in the mongolian desert. I realize that’s not the “regional” architecture, or what one would even imagine is being built there. But really, within the context of the project, it’s almost a critique on it. I recall pictures of these developments on the wall of Tatiana’s studio. So it’s not as out of place as it seems.

  • Son of Sam

    “The design is based on the archetype form of a house.” Jesus Christ… A house? what kind of house? A western type of house inserted in a eastern desert??? For sure this will be way too functional. This is bullsh*t, just a postmodern reminiscence with artistic intentions. As everything as this pseudo “new mexican generation of architects” does. There’s no doubt that the whole project, ordos, is a waste of time and a bad, bad joke.

    • David

      Bitter guy, sam please let us see your artistic work.
      looking forward to see it.
      Hils fra Denmark

      • Son of Sam

        What’s going on? Someone’s feeling alluded? Why don’t you
        start for showing us what do you have under your sleeve?. And yeah, I might be a bitter guy, but I’m pretty sure I’m not an idiot defending superficial-empty-(pseudo)architecture.

    • http://btbwarch.blogspot.com/ fredy massad

      very thoughtful insight.
      couldn’t just agree more with you.
      we need more bitter people in this cupcake-shop that a part of the architecture world is becoming under the hands of naive-cool people.

  • josep

    Love this house! Finally someone is doing something architectural @ Ordos, in love with Tatiana Bilbao’s work!

  • arch critic

    tatiana is so bangin

  • patentpolice

    I get the concept of 7 sections in diagram, but the concept seems to get lost in the models and drawings. Because the models and drawings seem to suggest a reductive concept/process, not the stitching together of 7 different sections to make a house.

    The building envelope – the “typical house” – appears to be adhered to with such rigidity as to confuse the sectional concept. Seems you could pierce/break this envelope as to make it conceptually clearer, without losing the typology at all. Or at least suggest a materials change. The concept could be pushed much harder.

    I would agree with others that assuming the housing typology is a universal form is quite a cultural stretch.


    Tatiana Bilbao? Tatiana Chingao!… Burritos in China.
    Beautifully mistaken.

  • OV

    I don’t understand why the commenters aren’t being more critical? I agree, it’s probably one of the better solved conceptual approaches of the Ordos houses. However, why doesn’t anyone question its scale in relationship to a person? I will find it interesting how much the project will perceptually change when you place a human figure in any of those exterior renderings. Furthermore, why aren’t any interior renderings provided? If the major concept is the sectional quality of the space, show us how it works in the interior! Yes, fine there are traditional sections shown, but they aren’t quite dynamic to me yet.

    I really like sectional strategies to projects, and while the exploded sectional diagram is interesting, its not successfully explaining to me why those specific cuts are occurring where they are. “The design creates spaces transforming the inside outside relationship and developing a form which questions the extroverted and introverted nature of a house,” is not enough for me. Nearly every project has a desire to achieve this kind of relationship , it’s pretty much a given. Give me another reason to say yes, this strategy works for this specific site.

    Definitely one of the better Ordos projects.

  • Durban

    Good point OV. The form is an archetypal monopoly house but the scale is completely over the top. THree storeys without the attic means this would read more like a barn or a warehouse if you were standing by it. I do like the method of subtraction from a pure form though, i guess that would be called deconstructive?


    1,000 square meters!

  • http://www.archilocus.com archilocus

    thx archlad !

  • Wargo

    Good design and solution indoor-outdoor.

  • cocteau

    i,ll like to see little samy´s work as well, i´m never seen bitter folks exposing their work, and since i like this project i can problably learn from something better.

  • http://www.avant.vn casa

    nice concept…:D:D ilkie it

  • Tashio

    Interesting concept however I feel they failed on many levels. This project tries to play with interaction between the exterior and interior but does not in anyway seem to let the site of the building dictate these moves (cuts).

    “The design creates spaces transforming the inside outside relationship and developing a form which questions the extroverted and introverted nature of a house”

    A simple solution would be to let the cuts work with natural daylighting in some fashion to have a play between shadow and the white surface (of the whole building!). OR maybe if there was some form of materiality (since this white material is not specified) these interior exterior moves could be taken further and have some materials flow from interior to exterior and change as they meet a glazing surface.

    Also did anyone else note that the shadows on the roof plan are wrong…? Look at the north arrow, the shadow, and then the site plan and you will see what I mean. Also take into consideration that this is a rather high latitude.

    Lastly, I feel there is really no sense of scale from the exterior. I think someone has mentioned this already.

    Architecture is not just about cutting holes in buildings and making incredible renderings. Its about user interaction with a building thats one with site, function, and aesthetics. Because of this I feel this building fails.

  • DMas

    In some years this whole Ordos project will be studied as one of the clearest mistakes and misuses of a profession blinded by its hedonistic and self concious behavior.
    It’s a pity that this rubbish have the opportunity to get built… it is not addressing anything in the world. A world so saturated with questions to be answered.
    This projects are so empty… answering questions nobody asked, and on top of that offering nothing that can be used for something useful.
    It’s really a pity.

    • Tuf-Pak

      Interesting thought. I’m not personally sure if it will or if it will not. I actually have a serious wonder if it will exist at all, given the present economic crisis.

      An interesting thought is that these exercises, meaning the Ordos projects, are the kind of things that one would expect to happen on paper…explorations of ideas and form absent of place. The fact that all of these exist in a space makes them a little sadder.

      I have to say, the result of seeing all of these formally vanguard projects in one place at one time seems to have really fostered a discussion about the potential vapidity of projects that are simply formal. And the fact that these are all being erected on the tundra, having them in direct comparison shows us how little (or much) we know about designing for condition and place.

      As an architect working in China, I was livid when we weren’t invited…however, I realize that this is the worst type of commission for an architect. A program without limits, client, budget, or real site constraint. We all need constraint and pressure to do good work in this world.

  • Tuf-Pak

    Sorry, to add on to my lengthy comment above…I really like this particular project.

  • makia

    Que haga lo que quiera en desiertos pero que no la dejen otra vez en una Expo por favor!!! derroche de dinero y mala imagen para arquitectos mexicanos que si son de calidad.

    • Oflodor

      Como quién, Rojkind? ji ji ji!

  • http://www.kris-provoost.be Kris

    This is interesting.
    The subtractions are done very wisely, it becomes a normal house-typology at first sight but with a lot more spatial quality.

  • darthelkens

    i can render the pic more like the model scene than it,honestly speaking.

  • tatiano

    prentencioso y feo como la arquitecta

  • horse

    Rudin House by Herzog & de Meuron + jorge yazpik subtractions = Tatiana Bilbao´s House

  • seyns

    lol, i love the way it looks like a rural building :D
    a very nice model, wonder what was used as material…

  • Mujava

    A monopoly hotel meets Tetris??
    No really, I love this design! It’s simple on the outside yet the internal space is really interesting to look at. A simple play on negative and positive forms.
    Maybe it is a bit of an arty comment on the archetypical ‘house’… but is that so bad?