House on the Slope
Changping District, China
This architectural endeavor embodies a poetic symphony of change and diversity, a dwelling that hosts three generations, a family of nine.
While the dwelling primarily cradles the two elders, it metamorphoses into a lively space during weekends, festivals, and the radiant embrace of summer, welcoming the laughter of children.
This 400-square-meter place should serve old and young, every family member, and also a place that allows humans to find solace in the company of others.
Rather than crafting a singular, imposing structure, our aim is to create a reminiscence of the intricate scenes portrayed in the paintings of Peter Bruegel, where every detail weaves its own unique story into the fabric of existence.
In a world dominated by standardized living spaces, how do we provide a realm where diverse forms, scales, and the interplay of light and shadow bring forth a rich tapestry of life? Our exploration unfolds through staggered sequences, unveiling possibilities for a living narrative that thrives on variation.
The site adjoins the contours of the sloping road, measuring 16 meters in width and exhibiting a variation in height of 1 meter.
To the east, the hutong descends an additional half meter from south to north. In our initial vision, we aspired to capture the essence of this understated yet unbroken landscape transformation and incorporate it within the new building's spatial design.
This envisioned shift would serve as the wellspring of form for the diverse array of spaces that harmonize with the site's natural character.
Adhering to the stipulated eaves height of 7.2 meters on the outward-facing façade, Two double slope volumes occupied the site.
Then, a yard was put in between, and the building naturally cleaved into three distinct sections from two parts.
It's like singing a four-beat melody while employing a three-beat drum, which gives rise to a sequence of alterations.
The central interior spaces within the courtyard were elevated, at times taking on the role of lofts, at times bathed in sunlight beneath the expansive curtain wall, evolving into a family retreat.
Adding to the allure, a tall, slender maple tree was incorporated as a living backdrop to daily life. By aligning the indoor floor levels with the outdoor height variations of the sloping site, we curated an ensemble of rooms characterized by their dynamic range of heights, resulting in a multi-tiered collection of living spaces.
Instead of the typical centralized layout found in most neighborhoods, we opted for a design featuring two primary volumes to the north and south, creating an open-air courtyard at their core.
The relatively modest room depth was strategically chosen to maximize natural light and facilitate ventilation from north to south.
This central courtyard was divided by a connecting volume, and an additional third courtyard emerged from the northeast corner.
This staggered indoor-outdoor arrangement accommodates several bedrooms on the ground floor to cater to family members of varying ages without encroaching on the primary communal areas situated on the first floor.
This house offers a unique journey through the diverse realms of indoor, outdoor, and semi-outdoor spaces, weaving a tapestry of intricate corners.
These corners contribute to the abundant density of spatial experiences, each endowed with its distinct character.
The rich and varied assortment of spaces has the potential to interconnect seamlessly with the nuances of daily life.
If architecture can reflect and be intimately experienced as a manifestation of a particular way of life, I suppose this reality is etched into these fine-grained details, a genuine expression of a specific existence.