Text description provided by the architects. Cloud House is located in Changtian Village, Yunhe County, Zhejiang Province, and is on the south side of the Wooden Toy Industrial Park.
UM has focused on designing a house that faces the south as much as possible and introducing sunlight into the entire interior space, making it the best place to live. At the same time, UM has got inspiration from wooden toys, taking “Building Blocks” as a design prototype to express its understanding of “the City of Wooden Toys” and to pay tribute to the traditional wooden toys culture with this modernist architecture.
UM has created an overall architectural image through the superposition and misalignment of three blocks with different functional attributes.
The first floor serves as a shared space. The living room facing the north and south courtyards is a visual starting point, passing through the porch and stairs, the restaurant with independent Chinese and Western kitchen is the end of vision. The second floor serves as a living space. The two living suites are equipped with a study, cloakroom and independent bathroom, and they share a balcony of 18 metres long on the southern side. The top floor is the owner's private office and living space. The studio with its own patio and the independent suite with a gym establishes an outdoor space connection through the L-shaped terrace, and the northern courtyard has a spiral staircase to reach the roof.
The stone used on the external wall of the first floor is selected from waste materials produced in the local granite factory, and then the waste materials are utilised by local traditional craftsmen to completed the masonry. The stones are randomly arranged to form a natural beauty while enhancing the thermal insulation performance of the building. The wood used on the external wall of the second floor is the most abundant natural resource in the area, which shows a warmer and softer texture after anti-corrosion treatment. Over time, the wood will gradually fade into gray, which is complementary to the gray stone. The most common white paint is used on the external wall of the top floor, which forms a hollow-solid contrast with the large area of glass doors and windows, maintaining the purity and simplicity of the building.
The three materials imply different functional attributes, reflect the contrast of light-heavy weight of the building, and present a progressive spiritual world.
This house for UM is an exploration of new countryside construction based on the regional environment and living style. The large number of replicated European-style houses built by peasants in Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai has caused the destruction of traditional villages, space oppression and aesthetic impoverishment. Seeking ways to solve this problem is an urgent challenge that needs to be paid attention to at present.
UM, even in small houses, integrates regional culture, building materials and construction techniques as much as possible to create an “Ideal Home” at the same time of low cost construction.