View house

The project is located at Shentang valley scenic spot at Huairou District, Beijing, with intermountain road in the west across the river. The south, east and north of the site are surrounded by mountains, which form the pattern of “shady well combined with sunny side” described in geomancy. A complete section of Great Wall on the ridge draws the outline of the mountain vividly and elegantly, which also serves as the natural barrier for this area. The construction site, covering an area of about dozens of mu, is located at several platforms with different heights and left with several simple houses constructed by the former owners.

The riverway here is broader than that at other locations and forms deeper riverbed with slope of 3 to 5 meters at both sides. Water head more than one meter is also formed here. The only way from the road to the opposite site is an east-west stone bridge spanning across the riverway.

The left side of the road, i.e. mountain at the west side extends to the road edge from the peak far away, forming the eastward trend. On the tortuous ridge of the mountain is a section of ancient Great Wall with several well-spaced beacon towers scattered at the peaks with different heights. After climbing up the west slope along the road, one can arrive at the first beacon tower to overlook the opposite construction site at hemi slope with mountain surrounded, river girdled and green shadows overlapped. Watching the cloud shadow floating between mountainsides, a taste of time seemingly appears in a trance, enchanting and intoxicating.

The design based on the abovementioned most valuable landscape elements decomposes the building dimensions and divides it into three independent buildings according to spatial functions, namely private, semi-public and public areas. Split-level layout is applied in combination with the platform terrain and the repeating rhyme outlines the distinct spatial relationship. Taking the beacon tower in the west as core, the three buildings are distributed in the form of a fan within the best lighting spectrum in the south and at 20 degree from the south to east, thus protecting the original landform to the greatest extent, integrating the buildings into the surroundings and also providing the maximum view for each interior space. The three buildings are connected and clustered with vestibules, naturally establishing two interior gardens and simultaneously leaving each building with both suburban and yard funs.

The staircase at north side of each building is slightly high, on which the single slope roofing at south side relies. The west side on the third floor is backward, leaving three viewing terraces facing the water to serve as the outdoor activity space. The large meeting room at the west side of north building is overhung for 8 meters to keep away from a willow at river bank, and the part extruding the water becomes a riverbank scene no matter at night or in daytime.

For the purpose of creating the best aesthetic effect and avoiding the visual retardation, the design applies frameless landing glass window with the whole piece of glass directly embedded into cast finish concrete beam column. The exterior windows at south and west side are equipped with horizontal wooden linear sun shadings to keep off the superfluous sunshine. The flowing water and static pond in the yard provide amiable courtyard environment and the French window introduces the changing shadow in the yard to the room, forming a harmonious atmosphere. Square windows are provided in specific positions in small rooms facing north and west sides, presenting the outdoor scenery like a picture frame.

The buildings' outer walls apply both natural and artificial materials to highlight the contrast and combination between tradition & modernism and nature & artificiality. The rough wall is close natural environment, leaving people a feeling of growing from surroundings. The roof applies bluestone pieces, a local common practice. The adumbral pine batten strengthens the harmony between buildings and environment. The cast finish concrete and low reflecting glass further highlight the achievements of modern technology in terms of color and texture, etc. The usage of these materials extends to interior design. All public roofs and staircase wall surfaces apply cast finish concrete, with transparent glass luminaries as main decorations to express a sense of freshness and elegance of cast finish concrete. Partial rough wall is constructed surrounding the interior yard. A fireplace constructed with rough stone and connected to the roof is designed at the meeting area. The transparent low reflecting glass minimizes the boundary limits of the outer walls and introduces the precious natural scenery into room.

The top roofing of each staircase, top washroom roofing, dinette roofing and roofing of the middle building yard are all designed with skylights which can be opened to provide natural ventilation. Interior floor applies bluestone, timber floor and white marbles to control the overall indoor color tone, with an intention to draw on visitors’ attention to the natural scenery for a longer time.