ORDOS 100 #46: Taller Territorial

ORDOS 100 #46: Taller Territorial

This villa is located in plot ORDOS project.

Architects: Taller Territorial de Mexico Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China 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 name of the house: “TRUST HOUSE” is the origin of the project. A place where a family can feel a sense of security, a place simple enough to allow the inhabitants to fill the spaces with their own taste, opening a possibility to create historical roots to the family and let them have a subjective appropriation of the space. At the end of the day, these ideas are the most important part of the project.

The concept is to create a continuous wall which is able to save the building from the weather conditions. The design of the house comes from recognizing the solar orientation, the sand storms and the urban shape. The house looks forward to open all the spaces to the south, which is the ideal orientation for Mongolia.

The continuous wall is almost completely close, with out windows, there are some light pipes on the north facades and it´s open with big windows only facing south. The house plan shape is an irregular morphology that recognize the urban, natural lighting, natural heating and weather conditions.

In the interior, the house is divided in four clusters, which are orientated from south to north. The first cluster, next to the street, has the garage, the laundry, the machinery room and a storage. The second cluster is divided in two areas, the first one at the south of the house, consists on the western style kitchen, the small living and dinning room in the ground floor, while in the first floor there is the workers bedroom with a little terrace, and the chinese style kitchen. The second area of this cluster is at the north of the house, and it contain a library and a studio. In the basement includes a wine cellar/lounge, a vault and a machinery room for the pool.

The third cluster is the public area with the big living and dinning room, and with a double hight. There are also a toilet and the stairs able to distribute all the house levels. In this same cluster, there is the pool and a game room in the basement.

The last cluster consists on the private area and includes four bedroom on the ground level and the first floor, and a master bedroom in the second floor. In the basement the cluster includes the gym, the sauna and a bathroom.

The volume of the house has as it’s principal characteristic, a close shelter with some holes, each hole is a different patio, each one with it’s own identity, scale, and mood. The idea behind this patios is to provide the house with some places specially designed to create spaces for reflection. Also, the patios are a traditional characteristic on the mexican architecture, and there is an intention to bring local characteristics of architecture into a global project, such as Ordos, and share some of our incredible in-definitions between the interior and the exterior, getting to a light and shadow game, and with an incredible spatial quality.

The plot is located in a sand area, so the the house needs to be a monolithic volume, and all the foundations need to be connected. Also, the structural walls need at least 2 meters underground, to face the sand issues.


The structure is shaped by the continuous structural wall, and the clusters structural walls. The most large distance between walls are 8 meters, so I propose a prefabricated concrete slab between the walls (such as the ones that are located in the Ai Weiwei studios project in Ordos), to get an structural frame able to support the house with any columns or beams, the only structural elements are the prefabricated concrete slabs and the brick structural walls with a concrete frame in the interior, these structural elements are also the architectonic elements that define the shape of the house.

All the walls will be made with the traditional gray brick, with a 40 cm thickness. In the interior this brick will be painted on white, while in the exterior the wall will maintain it’s natural look. The floor will be made with a dark gray natural limestone or granite.

The idea behind this simple finishes are to develop a sober and austere house, which can bring the possibility to get an affective relation with the space.

In the pool area, but also in the volume which is next to the general stairs, I propose to use in the walls and floors, a white venetian style tile (0.02 x 0.02 m), the idea is to create a different element, which will be able to create vertical connection.

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Cite: Nico Saieh. "ORDOS 100 #46: Taller Territorial" 19 Oct 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/38262/ordos-100-46-taller-territorial> ISSN 0719-8884

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