- Architect In Charge: Kai Chen, Ziqiao Zhou
- Design Team: Ke Wen, Yu Wei
- Engineering: Xiaolei Zhao
- City: Yiyang
- Country: China
The owner of the project is an elder who is nearly 70 years old. I have been in contact with me for a few years. Although I am much older, my understanding of new information and new knowledge is as active as our post-80s. And the understanding of design is also very professional. Because they have the same design values, he has entrusted us with this design in order to create the "interesting" building in his mind under the condition of new residential needs.
The location of the project was determined when we walked between the two phases of the B&B plot together with the owner. This plot is located halfway up the mountain, surrounded by native trees in the site, with obvious ridge lines and site height differences. There are three main reasons for choosing this plot: the southeast side is close to the edge of the mountain, and has a good view of the open pastoral landscape; the dense trees, which can better meet the owners' expectations of hiding in nature, achieve privacy and create a comfortable microclimate ; The location between the two phases of the homestay has both convenient transportation links and is not too close to be disturbed by the operating homestay.
There are dozens of primitive camphor trees, chestnut trees, and cedar trees scattered naturally on the site. The terrain continues the mountainous landscape. There is a tea field that has been cultivated for a few years on the east side landscape.
The design starts with locating the trees in the site. In order to keep the trees to continue to grow well, making the building a "supporting role" is the principle that was determined from the beginning of our design.
The more than ten trees that are retained are an important basis for the horizontal definition of the building volume within our design scope. As for the vertical relationship of mountain terrain, we are more concerned about preserving the terrain height difference of the mountain, erecting the building above the mound of the mountain, so as to connect the path from the tea garden, and the whole building has only one floor Basically, very little earthwork has been excavated.
From the sketch of the first draft, we can see that we want to deal with the definition of this irregular tree with the construction plane of the orthogonal axis. Vertical height difference relationship, functional layout relationship and building orthogonal axis relationship have become the focus of our design repeated thinking.
In the middle of the design, the two design friends of the owner also participated in the content of the plan and space concept. Everyone gave many questions about the internal functional layout, the connection between the upper and lower spaces, and the non-orthogonal axis relationship of the building. Specific sketch suggestions. After several rounds of deepening of the plane, the direction of the spatial layout was finally determined: the rotation angle of the main building forms a semi-enclosed and private inner courtyard, which is also the main space for the owner’s activities; at the same time, the main building also contains two floors The volume is used to resolve the vertical spatial relationship with the internal traffic of the building; the management room and functional room are set at the very end and the first floor after entering the inner courtyard, and the best southeast view and the inner courtyard view are both Give the main space such as the living room, tea room and dining room with the strongest public activity attributes; the guest room building is independent from the main building, horizontally arranged along the contour line of the tea field, and the view leads to the distant mountain behind the plank road. The rear part faces the tea field landscape.
The building is deduced step by step to form a dispersed mass state of small blocks, so as to respond flexibly to complex site conditions. While echoing the surrounding building communities, it also allows the buildings to "hide" better in this mountain forest.
The tree is a very important defining factor in the site. In addition to the definition of the building volume, it also becomes the main basis for the turning direction of the plank road. As the most important traffic space connecting the building, the plank road, in the process of entering the building, we hope that the owner can also have a stepping experience. The close-up camphor trees, the open distant mountains and the pool outside the courtyard all enrich the spatial sequence before entering the building.
The Stone Wall At The Entrance
The rough stone wall at the entrance is what we conceived at the initial stage of the design. It has the main functions of enclosing the main building courtyard and isolating the noise of the west-facing road. The wall visually separates the inner courtyard from the outer courtyard. At the same time, the definition of space is also an important element for distinguishing public and private spaces. The shape of the wall has evolved from the initial one-fold L-shape to a two-fold Z-shape, and its structural standing relationship is stronger. The entrance space is also divided into a tree yard, a living platform and a bridge by a rough stone wall, which enriches the space experience of "closing" and "releasing" when entering the inner courtyard of the building.
The choice of the material of rubble is in line with the direction of the overall material after the construction. The dark gray rubble is a common material for the construction of retaining walls in Anhua. The contrast between the roughness of the outside and the fineness of the courtyard.
Two Vertical "patio"
Due to the location of two important camphor trees on the site, the "patio" space of these two tree yards was added to the enclosing relationship between the stone wall at the entrance and the main building. The main body of the building consists of two floors, and the second floor of the building is the main activity courtyard. The two "patios" are centered on the trees, connecting the vertical spaces on the first and second floors, introducing the skylight to the next floor, improving the quality of the first floor, and at the same time facing the tree landscape to the second floor activity courtyard, further strengthening the upper and lower Spatial connection.
Large Overhanging Roof And Courtyard
Considering Anhua's rainy climate and the owner's preference for semi-outdoor activities, we expanded the cantilevered roof from 1 meter to 1.6 meters at the beginning of the design and added a supporting steel structure. The larger outcrop roof not only provides more semi-outdoor inner courtyard activity space, but also makes the scale of inner courtyard activity more pleasant. The semi-enclosed inner courtyard framed a unique piece of sky. A small pool of mirrored water on the ground and camphor trees in the patio set off between them, making walking, drinking tea, and fitness activities in the inner courtyard more natural and comfortable.
Construction And Material
Combined with our previous practical experience in Hunan area and the local construction conditions of Anhua, we used the frame structure familiar to the local construction team as the main structural system. Double-layer overhead is also the local experience we have gained, that is: the ground layer is overhead to isolate the moisture transmitted in the soil; the roof layer is overhead to isolate the heat from the heat.
After more than half a year of staying with the owner, we have received feedback from many owners: the use of space restores the fun of the design; the comfort effect brought by the new roof structure; the indoor fireplace enhances the comfort in winter; the negative one-level space in summer 6°-7° lower than the outdoor experience; the structure of the mirror pool drain makes the fallen leaves easy to clean; the waterproof treatment at the anti-beam structure needs to be considered more comprehensively; the angle of the morning is much reduced than the design expected, etc., these feedbacks All became our precious experience on the design road.
In the design process, we have the support and help of owner Wang, interior designer Wen, and architect Chen. Let us continue to learn and grow throughout the process, and we have more new cognitive perspectives. They express their heartfelt thanks.