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Ordos 100 : Villa Design

Mongolian Architecture Project – design by Slade Architecture, architects

19 May 2009

Ordos 100 Villa

Inner Mongolia, China

Design: Slade Architecture

Ordos 100 Villa Mongolia

The masterplan proposes an exhibit of very large houses each encircled by a public footpath juxtaposing two conflicting desires: private retreat and public display. We accepted this tension as a primary design challenge.

To engage the public view exterior, sightlines and perspectival cues are manipulated to create an engaging object that is ambiguous in its shape and boundaries. This ambiguity works against the clear platonic cube suggested by the masterplan.

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The private interior courtyard at the center of the house provides a santuary and retreat shielded from public view while allowing edited outward views. This results in a private but open interior.

MASSING The massing respects the masterplan envelope. Creating an interior courtyard required building some of the required footprint below grade. Cutting away the groundplane creates two sunken gardens in plane with the lower level interior spaces allows the spaces. The building mass is carved to provide views from the interior courtyard and sunlight into the center of the building.

STACKED TYPOLOGIES Reinforcing the site strategies on a programatic level, the building is organized in layers of increasing privacy.

These spaces are arranged in three typologies that are stacked vertically. The individual private spaces are articulated as distinct objects (sleeping). Communal family spaces are arranged around a courtyard (living). Social / public spaces are open to the exterior as an extension of the landscape (entertaining).

EDITED VIEWS The volume is sculpted to create specific views.
From the central courtyard the planted roof yields a green pastoral scene with an almost scale-less quality (editing out neighboring houses with a false horizon). The courtyard creates a sheltered, central node for the house and also allows for visual interconnections across and between the private areas. The sunken open gardens relate directly to adjacent public zones.

AMBIGUOUS OBJECT Considering the path that encircles the house, we explored the dynamic relationship between the viewer and the object: how the geometry could exploit the viewer’s movement to create a visually ambigous and shifting perception of space and volume.

The building form presents a changing perception of the scale, geometry and massing from different exterior points of view.

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BRICK SKIN STUDY At different moments, the brick skin wraps smoothly, pulls apart to create light portals or rotates on its own axis-creating a continuous patterned skin of changing opacity and texture.

The shifting geometries of the bricks are generated by the geometries of the intersecting walls. These geometries ripple out from the corners, normalizing themselves to the surface of the plane as they move away from the generating corner. The corner bricks create interlocking “zipper” connections – clearly expressing the generative geometries.

PASSIVE THERMAL SYSTEM Green planted windows create living shading devices. During summer months, plants shade windows reducing heat gain. In winter, light and heat stream into windows unencumbered by foilage.

Thermal swings are mitigated passively through a combination of operable louvers and the thermal mass of the ground and pool masses; cooling warm summer air by transferring heat to the earth and warming cold winter air.

The pool also cools the space through evaporative cooling in the summer.

The stack effect of rising warm air helps move air naturally through the house. Louvers trap the warm air in winter to gain the sun’s warmth and act as an insulating layer.

GREEN WINDOW Green windows provide passive summer and winter heat gain control naturally adjusting to summer and winter seasons.

Ordos 100 Villa Mongolia images / information from Slade Architecture

Slade Architecture

Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia

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