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LI WENXI Architects: Going back to three years ago, the day when I thought of “Boundary House”. I met Sun Zhaoyang in the winter evening of 2016. During the chat, I learned that he wanted to build a house for his parents in his hometown. His hometown is located in the village on the outskirts of Luohe City, Henan Province, China. The site is at the end of the village, facing the fields. What is in the distance? Hills, desulphurization towers and rock birds that don’t want to go back to the nest.
▽傍晚鸟瞰 Aerial view in the evening
▽从田野望向住宅 View from the field to the house
一棵会开花的树One Flowering Tree
The first thing is to build a circle of boundary wall. This is not our original intention, but the local convention. I am not disgusted with this, because the wall does not mean blocking. In my opinion, it likes a cell membrane, which constructing a mechanism for selecting and transmissing, and also setting a starting point and basis for our design.
▽南侧入口 South entrance
Enclose A Piece of Land, Circle A Deserted Site.
Push down the dilapidated red brick walls and collect them as building materials for the new home; remove the original potted trees and temporarily settle in the ground at the door of the house; loosen the concrete floor in the yard to reveal the moist soil and grass.
▽从入口看西侧体量 The west side volume viewed from the entrance
▽从庭院看外围墙 View of the outer wall from the courtyard
In the enclosed area, there are the memories for decades of a family.
In the center of the site (old house), there is a sweet-scented osmanthus tree and a magnolia tree. This low-growth sweet-scented osmanthus tree grows well. Accompanied him to spend his childhood, boy-time, went to college, graduated, and finally worked. Well the magnolia died when the owner was young. He missed her very much and said that the tree was very tall and blossomed every year.
▽边庭 Side court
▽从入口看边庭 View of the courtyard from the entrance
What comes with the “enclosure” action is the concept of inner, outer and center.
Windows are a medium for communicating inside and outside. We arranged nine windows on the boundary wall. Most of them were on the path of walking. They were in various shapes. Some of the windows were facing the sunflower field in the inner courtyard. In order to make the flower into a painting which hung on the wall. Some of the windows are extremely long, in order to intercept the treetops of the birch forest; some break through the corners, just to see the mountains farther.
▽透过围墙上的窗户欣赏院内景 View of the courtyard through the windows on the fence
One magnolia was replanted in the courtyard, from a distant seedling field in the mountains in Changchun the name of the seedling company is called the North Country Spring. They uprooted the tree, wrapped the branches, subtracted the twigs, and loaded them in the truck overnight.
In the past three years, this magnolia tree has been acclimatized and has not blossomed. Until last year, the branches suddenly bloomed with white flowers, and the whole family was very happy! It seems to have returned to the childhood of Chaoyang 30 years ago, Sun Shu’s youth.
▽主庭院 Main courtyard
▽主庭院里的玉兰树 Magnolia tree in the main courtyard
▽室内看向庭院 Indoor looking to the courtyard
边界建构 The Construction of Boundary Space
The logic of formal organization takes place around the boundary wall. The entrance is close to the neighboring of his uncle on the south side. After entering, it moves clockwise around the boundary wall, passing through pavilions, walkways, steel structures and a small courtyard. Then go to the west side, you can choose to go to the living room, or go to the second floor. When you enter the living room, you can see the main courtyard, where planted the magnolia tree.
▽钢构架 Steel frame
Under the tree, there is a steel staircase leading to the height. The height, that is, the roof of the pavilion, is a small space independent of the large platform on the west side. Although the area is small, the view is unusually wide, when you look south or west. You can see the dark green forest in the distance.
▽亭子视角 Pavilion perspective
The large platform on the west side of the second floor connects the endless fields. The pavilion, the living room, and the bedroom occupy the south, west, and north sides, respectively, forming a grip on the inner garden.
▽二层平台 Layer 2 Platform
▽从二层过道看南面树林 View of the woods in the south from the second floor aisle
▽从二层平台看主庭院 View of the main courtyard from the second floor platform
▽二层卧室 Second floor bedroom
▽卧室&天窗 Bedroom & Skylight
Considering typology, in the boundary space, there are nine spatial relationships between the body and the wall, analogous to the treatment of the boundary wall by traditional Chinese dwellings. The nine types here are: the types of paste and contain of the room and the boundary wall. The type of paste of the stairs and the wall, the paste of the platform and the wall, and the contain and interruption of the steel frame and the wall. Among them, the abstract relationship between the steel frame and the wall is rarely to be seen in the traditional Chinese houses. A similar space appears in the bridge on the north side of the Sa Liu Yuan Yang Guan in the Humble Administrator’s Garden and in the corridor named You Yi Cun on the north side of the Lingering Garden, except that they are continuous and linear. The steel frame here emphasizes the transition in the space transition.
▽主庭院夜景 Main courtyard night view
Looking through the window in the west, you can hear the neighbors’ chats through the south wall, plant the moss in the small garden in the north, and draw a gravel pattern in the east courtyard. Under the magnolia tree, you could smell the spring, see the sunflowers in the bushes in the south, they are unscrupulous.
Everything happens in this place only less than 100 square meters, by chance, but unlimited with the time flies. The breath of nature is smashed in walking, and integrated into everyday life, piously and concretely.
▽傍晚的卧室 Bedroom in the evening
▽夜晚的二层过道 Second floor hallway at night
关于驻场与失控 About Resident and Out of Control
Xia and Yan are friends I met at Nanjing University. They made doors and windows for this house. The drawings of Xia were professional which full of details. So the relationship between glass and window frame is well controlled.
Xue made railings, stairs and door handles for the house. This buddy must drink a pound of white wine before each work, he can understand the drawings when he is awake, but he can only work if he drinks alcohol. We passed the ditch several times, his speaking speed was very fast, he looked very busy, and he was not sure when he could get the finished product and when he could come over and install it. The final product and the drawings are all different, such as the handle is reversed, the railing is thin, the stairs are bigger, and so on. Fortunately, the effect is not as bad as imagined. It can be seen that in the subconscious, he still controlled.
▽施工过程 Construction process
I hope that this house will always accompany the family, from Sun to the sunset, the sunset to the moon, and the moon to the morning. Then which became a relic in the past 100 years and became one of another hometown of mine.
▽傍晚的边界住宅 Boundary House in the Evening
House, the folk about life.
What I understand of life, ordinary but with profound.
Project Name: Boundary House
Location: Sundian Village, Zhaoling District, Luohe, China
Design / Construction time: 2016.12-2019.6
Firm: LI WENXI-IN. Architects
Leading Architect: LI Wenxi
Design Team: Pang Mengxia, Lai Pengfei
Main Body Construction: LI Laihuo Team
Doors and Windows: Yan Chuanwei, Xia Heng, Zhang Chunlei, Zhao Xuebing, Xue Xiaoying
Handles, Railings, Steel Stairs: Xue Yibo, Li Pengfei, Sun Denghui
“ 田野尽头的白色边界住宅，简洁而又舒适。 ”
审稿编辑 Ashley Jen
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