This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.
Architects: Johnston Marklee & Associates Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China Pincipals in charge: Sharon Johnston AIA, Mark Lee Project Architect: Anton Schneider Project team: Owen Merrick, Midori Mizuhara, Jonathan Raz Design year: 2008 Construction year: 2009 Curator: Ai Weiwei, Beijing, China Client: Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, Inner Mongolia, China
The design of House House emerges from an interest in finding the most elemental model for a city. As a type, the gable roofed shed is one that transcends cultures and civilization.
The instant this house proliferates bears the seed for the basic model of settlement.
Considering pragmatic constraints, the siting of the house is driven by the need to situate a large building on a small lot with close proximity to adjacent structures.
By situating the house obliquely to the lot and always exposing double facades to the main views, the primary image of House House is present at every angle but never the same.
Clad with brick in its entirety, the design evokes the stability and stillness of a single building as well as the dynamism of its proliferation.
The internal organization of the house is driven by the notion of a double house, where public and private domains interlock around light filled voids.
From the exterior, the house is divided in plan. Internally, the double use between public and private is divided in section.
The ground level contains the most public programs, the second level contains the semi-public use, and the third level contains the most private rooms, where the interface with the roofline allows each room to become a house in itself.
Along with the basement, the levels are connected by a light filled atrium. The strategy for apertures results from the anticipation of the surrounding development and the choreography of internal moments, which migrate in plan and section concomitantly with circulation to erode traditional front/back and top/bottom planning organizations. As one walks through the house, the apertures frame different views of the landscape and surrounding houses. On the exterior, the various positions and depths of the apertures serve to simultaneously dematerialize and reinforce the visual weight of the house.
Suspended between stasis and dynamism, introversion and extroversion, isolation and community, and past and future, House House breeds familiarity while suggesting the exceptional, reflecting the logic of the masterplan and the spirit of the development.