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  7. CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects

CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects

  • 01:00 - 5 May, 2013
CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects
CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects, © Yao Li
© Yao Li

© Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li © Yao Li +22

  • Architects

  • Location

    Nanjing, Jiangsu, China
  • Architect in Charge

    Zhang Lei
  • Design Team

    Zhang Lei, Jeffrey Cheng, Wang Wang, Wang Yi
  • Collaborator

    Architectural Design & Planning Institute, NJU
  • Area

    500.0 sqm
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

© Yao Li
© Yao Li

From the architect. Situated in Laoshan Forest to the west of central Nanjing city, China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) began in 2003 to bring twenty-four renowned international & domestic architects together onto one site.  CIPEA consist of four public buildings and twenty small houses, in accordance with the brief, the houses should have at least five bedrooms, public spaces, and hospitality accommodations on 500 square meters.  

© Yao Li
© Yao Li

The Number Four “Blockhouse” sits on a particularly valley site, nestling the house into the landscape.  In the spirit of a pagoda, four cubic floors are stacked vertically, allowing for minimal site excavation and land use.  The ground floor features living and dining spaces quietly enveloped in the surrounding forest and overlooking a stream, and a communal roof terrace rises to just above the trees.  The roof merges into the landscape as another living space, complete with pool and wooden deck within the panorama of the forest.  The geometric shape is sculpted from concrete and finished in a white protection surface.

© Yao Li
© Yao Li

The concept of Blockhouse is almost the living attitude of many Chinese: a minimal opening to the surrounding landscape is the only perforation of the richness inside the house.  The horizontal break of each floor—in combination with larger unique curved apertures on each floor—frame vistas in the spirit of Chinese landscape scrolls.  Prescribed views have a long tradition in Chinese art history and traditional Chinese gardens, designed to make the viewer reconsider and contemplate the landscape.

First Floor Plan
First Floor Plan
Cite: "CIPEA No.4 House / AZL architects" 05 May 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


aaa · May 08, 2013

Can someone explain me, for who is that building? Because from article i don't understand.

rx · May 09, 2013 12:00 PM

a villa

Wayne · May 05, 2013

Zhang Lei is my favorite Chinese architect. Yet I don't think this work demonstrates his capability. If one looks at the interior view, the long horizontal gap between the exterior concrete walls is so slim that one can barely see much natural view outside. In the article, the designer explains that the gaps "frame vistas in the spirit of Chinese landscape scrolls. " Frankly, I don't buy it.

David Basulto · May 07, 2013 09:39 AM

Great project, and great architect.

boyuanjie · May 06, 2013 10:36 AM

just imagine, only through these small gap of the whole dark concrete wall you will see the light, feel the wind, tough the nature...It is another opposite way to try to communicate between people and landscape, not the normal way of puting a huge glas facade there. Maybe you don't like it, but his bold attempt got his reason:living attitude of many Chinese(at least the client's)

Yanco AL Simental AL · May 05, 2013

Me Gusta mucho


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© Yao Li

中国国际建筑艺术展4#住宅 / AZL architects