Text description provided by the architects. A young couple came to us for a weekend house located in the countryside of Shanghai named Datuan town. The dispersed agriculture fields, the small river, the highway and a cluster of houses with pitch roof compose its general countryside surrounding. The site is fortunately positioned on the edge of the land, across the small riverand on the southwest is the famous peach field. The husband is a lover of modernism, and on the first day of meeting he quoted Le Corbusier’s words“A house is a machine for living in”.
In contrast to its colorfully-paved neighbors, the house is a white cube. We design this countryside house with a modernist approach. Windows of different sizes are carefully positioned, which are relevant to the composition of the inner volumes. A big opening is given to the south-side living room, while the entrance door is disguised. The balcony towards the river is a cheerful spot, counterbalancing its introverted character.
The plot size is fully used, while the house contents are condensed and fill up the three-storied cube. But it is important for us to haveopennessinside of the house, so we try to create a living theater feeling and walk-around experience through the architectural promenade. Since the house receives the big family members as a weekend gathering place, it is preferred, to have some dynamic relation in the double height living room, thus multiple perception angles and heights were given to create the see and saw effect.
The first floor is open-plan, where people can walk aroundand get to the sunken dining room in three different ways.
Two sets of staircases articulate the whole sequence. The first one is diagonally composed in the double-floorliving room, going straightforward to the core of the house.The playroom on the second floor has a quasi-cubic proportion, dark and spacious. The picturesque scene and diffused light come from the north window, rendering the room a silent atmosphere.
One children’s room and one guest room occupy the other side of the second floor. The wallcabinets are colored with vivid green and light blue tone, referring to the colors of the scene outside.
The second one has a turn, and when you climb up, it provides a moving scene to the north field, and gently leads to the bedroom on the third floor.
On the top floor is a bedroom suite with a terrace of two different heights. The lower one is enclosed by the raised peripheral wall, where one small opening is given to the peach field and sunset. The upper one is for laundry as well as a panoramic view to end up the architectural promenade.