House of Cracks / Chaoffice

House of Cracks / Chaoffice

Trees in the yard. Image © Zhi Cheng The main living room on 1st floor The Book room on 2nd floor. Image © Zhi Cheng The Book room and the urban environment + 40

Beijing, China
  • Architects: Chaoffice
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  320
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2019
  • Photographs Photographs:  Yumeng Zhu, Zhi Cheng
  • Manufacturers Brands with products used in this architecture project
    Manufacturers: DONGFANG JINGRAN BUILDING DECORATION
  • Architect In Charge: Zhi Cheng
  • Design Team: Zhi Cheng, Youjiang Zhang
  • Client: Yufei Qin
More Specs Less Specs
North facade and surrounding evironment
North facade and surrounding evironment

Text description provided by the architects. After the passing of the clients’ father, she, along with her husband decided to move into her mother’s home along with their 5 year old son. Because of the increase in family members, the old house needed to be rebuilt to accommodate 5 people, namely the wife and husband, the grandmother, the son, and their dog, Chuanchuan.

The main living room on 1st floor
The main living room on 1st floor
axonometric 1F
axonometric 1F
The Book room on 2nd floor. Image © Zhi Cheng
The Book room on 2nd floor. Image © Zhi Cheng

The project is located in Pinggu District, Beijing, a typical example of an area nearby large city but with a comparatively slow rate of development.

Entrance space
Entrance space

We kept a gap between our building and the neighbor’s. A true open air “yard” appeared. An independent building with four facades facing out toward the air takes the place of the so called “town house” which directly touched one another. This was our first “crack” within the design; via the open yard, sunlight would arrive the north wall in winter.

The main living room
The main living room
Courtesy of Chaoffice
Courtesy of Chaoffice
section
section
The Main living room and yard
The Main living room and yard

According to local planning laws, new buildings should not be more than 2 floors. In addition, our new building needed to be at a height of 10 meters in reference to that of the neighbor’s. As a project goal, we need to design a building with 2 floors, 10 meters high.

The northern section of the yard. Image © Zhi Cheng
The northern section of the yard. Image © Zhi Cheng

It may cause problem if we just divided 10 meters equally in to two floors. As a result, we designed different heights in different areas, high ceiling chambers full of sunlight with clear, far views. Along with low ceilings, quiet and in shadow with plenty of privacy.

Chuanchuan and Yard
Chuanchuan and Yard

The spacial conditions vary, with differences between areas facing the urban environment or the “yard in gap”. Half of the building incorporates high ceilings on the first floor, with low ceilings on the second floor. In the other half, low ceilings are on the first floor, high ceilings on the second. This relationship generates a new “crack” existing between left and right.

Kitchen. Image © Zhi Cheng
Kitchen. Image © Zhi Cheng

In first floor rooms which incorporate high ceilings, we kept a distance between walls and ceiling, the 800mm high “cracks” providing possibilities to link various rooms, and make all spaces form a single entity. And in second floor, the 800mm height became a huge desk surrounding the book room.

The moon shaped crack provide a route linking different public rooms
The moon shaped crack provide a route linking different public rooms

I focus on “continuity” a lot and try to incorporate it into each of our projects. “House of Cracks” is no exception. As technology develops and people’s customs change, the daily lives of Chinese families have also changed dramatically. The traditional family system has collapsed, and the close relationships between family members have quickly faded away. House of cracks connect different public area also connect indoor and outdoor.

Grandma's bedroom. Image © Zhi Cheng
Grandma's bedroom. Image © Zhi Cheng

The entrance space, kitchen, living room, book room, etc., they contrast the independent nature of the bedrooms. An invisible force and regulation is formed. Besides sleeping, people are encouraged to meet one another and enjoy life as a family.

The Book room and the urban environment
The Book room and the urban environment

All "cracks" which are formed by tectonic logic, provide light, shadow, wind, fresh air, and the freedom of people's action and view.

East facade. Image © Zhi Cheng
East facade. Image © Zhi Cheng

Project gallery

See all Show less
About this office
Cite: "House of Cracks / Chaoffice" 30 Apr 2020. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/938115/house-of-cracks-chaoffice/> ISSN 0719-8884
Hight difference

缝中之家 / 察社办公室

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.