- Lead Designer: Qiguang Mi
- General Coordinator: Runtian Che
- Design Team: Wang Kun, Junlong Chen, Shuxia Hou, Zhihao Liang, Lu Li, Tiny Tina, Ruobi Li
- Structural Design: Liu Han
- Translation: Lixin Jiang
- City: Baoding
- Country: China
Text description provided by the architects. In 2017, we received a commission for building a private holiday home. The owner hopes to construct a private leisure holiday home, with guest rooms for relatives and friends; and two private rooms for landholders apart from the owner’s living quarters. The design will need to consider converting it to a commercial homestay business in the future. The construction cut into a hillside with 45 degrees slope. The base is in rectangle shape, 35 meters in length, and 14 meters in width. With the above, our design concept begins to take shape.
According to Chinese living traditions and customs, orientation and privacy are crucial considerations. This accommodation will be an enclosed courtyard in design with security and privacy reasons in mind, as well as a sense of ownership. In the Northern area of China, north-facing or south-facing are more than anything else when building houses. Thus, each functional room is adjusted to be north-facing or south-facing. The design suggests a square shape for each room, a triangular-shaped space in the open space, shapes interlock to form a unique living environment. Almost every independent area has a private yard. The four walnut trees inherited will remain in the south yard, hollowed out from the bottom of the building and blooming inside. It makes a breakthrough in the orthodox structure design of a courtyard.
The property’s facade facing outside will be a continuum of this design impetus, each squared corner of rooms pierced thru walls. To further strengthen the design idea of interlocking, the ceiling height will be reduced, and a space between two interlocking walls will be reserved. The design imbues each living area with a deep feeling of liberation from walled living spaces and grants allure to see the outside world.
Since the base cut at the hillside, we could jut out a 3 meters platform, sticking out from the hillside, use anticorrosive wood to build up the platform, and level out the ground. It allows people to immerse themselves in emptiness and surroundings peacefully. This platform, and the enclosed courtyard in the south, are in high contrast to the design of the north. To satisfy the functional requirement by adapting the twisted orientation of the living space, the space between walls, and the enclosure design of the whole complex. The capability of addressing practical usage issues of a project of this scale is unprecedented.