ORDOS 100 #2: Luca Selva Architects

We continue with our series, this time with swiss architects Luca Selva.

This villa is located in plot #5 of the ORDOS project.

Architects: Luca Selva Architects – David Gschwind, Sonja Christen
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia,
Design year: 2008
Construction year: 2009
Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China
Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China
Site Area: 2,015 sqm
Constructed Area: 1,000 sqm

How to build in China?
To build like in Europe or is there to look after specific topics?
And how is to develop a specific architecture?

Referring to these questions the issue for Luca Selva Architects was to work on a strategy for a specific building for China, for Inner Mongolia, for Ordos and for precisely this specific place on the plot of the Master-Plan.

The design-operation was to transform specific landscape beneath the plot in architecture, little lakes and ponds will be transformed into courtyards, dunes into spaces, topography into stores. This design-strategy points out a specific building closely related to the site. A specific villa with a specific shape, specific spaces and a specific shell in bricks. The villa is landscape transformed into architecture.

On the ground floor are located the enfilade’ of representative spaces and the pool, structured by different transparencies of the courtyards, which bring a soft daylight into the interior spaces. On the upper floor are situated the master bedroom, five further bedrooms included bathrooms and a library on the gallery, which relates again by a double-high space the entrance with the upper floor. The construction is made of a specific skin with grey bricks and an inner concrete frame-structure with red bricks as fillings.

Cite: Saieh, Nico. "ORDOS 100 #2: Luca Selva Architects" 15 Dec 2008. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=7014>
  • Mark

    Look at me, I literally converted an aerial view of the landscape into a plan, I am so contextual!!

    Another lame studio project from the “cool” kid in class…

  • cocteau

    Mark you sound bitter, like the “really cool” kid in class

  • Marky Mark

    Mark seems to bee a great architect, probably a Richard Meier freek *lol*

  • Dan

    I find it (as form) as subjective as if he had chosen a cube to fit the housing in. I mean, no geometry is “natural” (in the way we all use to think about nature). And so, either a square or a hand-drawn-line can be natural or unnatural.
    I find this project quite interesting, though. But I’d like to see some information of how the building is seen from the sorroundings, and what exactly the sorroundings are. The main problem I notice is that this is not a building that “buils city” around itself, or even that helps a city grow. since it’s so specific. I can’t imagine it as part of a village, in Spain, or in China.

  • Comitant

    Mark is right. There are many interesting spaces occurring in the building, but the kinky shape is pointlessly complicated for a courtyard scheme in open space.

  • xing

    this result has nothing to do with China.

    To start from “what to build in China” is totally problematic. The fact is Chinese cities are in a huge divergent gruop with many difference to each other.

    Maybe the design should start with the environment of Ordos, Mongolia. This sandy desert environment calls for vernacular architecture and tons of consideration on its unique climate and geological stuff.

    let us keep moving to the next and next.

  • Greg

    ha. good to see some people having fun in the comments. I’d have to agree with Mark though, the project is an irrelevant exercise in formalism – no matter what the design brief preaches. Very self-absorbed, but I’m assuming a lot of the projects that come out this development will be taking that approach…

  • M

    xing 1: mark 1:cocteau 0 : Marky mark 0

    the question at the beginnig has nothign to do with project itself…….

    next time i am doing a project i am not gonna worry annymore about the form or function, i will just google map the city or the country, or maybe i will try with the moon, i think i may find more interesting landscapes there …hehehehe…..

  • specific

    What a great project! The most people in this blogg are probably students or not really have a idea from architecture. Herzog de Meuron does “specific architecture” / OMA does “generic architecture”. That project is “specific architecture” .- a great idea!!!

  • M

    to mr specific…. the architect.

  • To “miss M”

    To Miss M the student

    the girl who design the moon…….*loooooooooool* yes next time, design the moon……because she not gonna worry *lol*

  • Dan

    I see this is a very interesting architecture discussion!
    I read this looking for someone who has somethiong interesting (or not) about architecture, not about how good he/she was at school.

  • chingy

    i think its great as an artwork…but if its to build…is it necessary to waste money like this…rather then a more simple solution?

  • hm

    I agree with whoever said it’s a pointlessy complicated building. Of course it creates interesting spaces (which fascinates at first, and probably makes the building fun to walk through), but it really is over the top and doesn’t respond to any -given- chaos… it just creates confusion in a relatively simple place.

  • Amico

    Seams to me like Escher’s drawings

    or walking on the streets of Morocco.

  • http://www.chickmagnetstuff.com/ chickmagnetstuff

    now who would want to have something as complicated as that as a house design it looks like a map i don’t like it.

  • oranjuic

    looks more like a study model of a 2nd year architecture student, not that it isn’t remotely interesting, but nothing to be wowed at. i dont even think the scale is correct.

  • HSXK

    I like it. I understand the meaning and significance of learning Architecture from it. It’s so interesting, the building, the world.

  • E

    Hi all,

    Personally, the interesting part is not how the form looks like, but rather, how was the form derived by.

    Did it merely mapped out the contours of the terrain only? or was there more to it.

    If it was really built, has consideration of each wall and where it visually looks towards been considered?

    As there were no perspective of the space being shown, its hard to tell if the architect has touched on the above mentioned.

    So there are alot of unanswered questions just on this posting alone, but they may already been touched on which I sincerely hoped each responsible architect would have done.

    Lastly, if its really built, the height of each wall will determine the dynamism, though it may be “slanted here and there” it does not mean it is hard to live in the space as most presume just by looking at the overall layout. Rather, if you stand within the space, you may find that it could be quite interesting and infact, quite “wide” a space compared to the traditional cube rooms. So we need to really see the inside, being able to visualize standing in it will we then see the real beauty of it.

    Overall, I feel that its a good attempt and good effort. Something was created, just that more needs to be shown.

  • Durban

    “”it’s a pointlessy complicated building. Of course it creates interesting spaces (which fascinates at first, and probably makes the building fun to walk through), but it really is over the top and doesn’t respond to any -given- chaos… it just creates confusion in a relatively simple place.”"
    wow hm! you contradict yourself twice in one comment, thats impressive.

    I think making walls in all sorts of directions to create dynamic views, spaces and paths is perfectly justified. Id love to explore this place and would enjoy living there.

    BUT, the way they derived the plan from a photo is laughable. Eisenman did the same thing for cite de culture in santiago. He copied the old town map and pasted it onto his building for circulation. Im not convinced by that but at least he didnt try to justify it with ‘being contextual’

  • Blackbuddha

    I think the idea itself is excellent, at least it’s a way for designing. However, I cannot find any relationshiop between this object and China.

  • Blackbuddha

    I just have no idea how the designer get that strange shape out from the landscape… by accident?
    It seems that it’s a kinda irreasonable.

  • A day A dear

    I like i think its great as an art
    for designing and interesting