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Yueji Architectural Design Office: Villagers living in traditional Chinese rural dwellings always choose to economically build their homesteads near their own farmlands. Being built along with mountain roads or near ponds and croplands, those houses demonstrate their own characteristics corresponding to villagers’ different living and farming demands. After multiple reconstructions or extensions, rural dwellings transform their diverse habitation-distributions to a special rural appearance which naturally blends in the landscapes.
回归自然的乡建肌理 Architectural Fabric Focusing on Nature
It takes more than two years for Jiaoyuan to transform its conceptual design to the completed dwelling.The close relationship between architecture and nature is presented step by step, from site assessment and protection on existing trees, to consideration on architectural scale, spatial layout, and cropland landscape-design. Naturally blending in the local village, this project expresses the client’s life attitude of “cloistered in countryside” and the architects’ design philosophy of “being a part of nature”.
拥抱自然的乡村“院子” The Courtyard Embracing Nature
The project is located at the suburban countryside of Chongqing, on a circular highland facing cliffs on three sides. It is a typical rural site in southwestern China, surrounded by forests, farmlands, and rolling hills but also with a broad and open view.
▽项目与整体环境鸟瞰 A bird ‘s-eye view of the project and the overall environment
▽群山绵延，林木葱郁，视野开阔 The mountains are long, the trees are lush and the view is wide
Martin Heidegger in Bauen-wohnen-denken puts forth the philosophy that building itself is a kind of dwelling (Wohnen) and is a human being’s way of existence on the land. With a deep reverence for the site, we wanted the building to “take root” on the land — becoming a part of the natural environment and rural activities in a humble manner.
After repeated visits to the site, we finally chose to build our dwelling at the central area of the site which is surrounded by rice fields. Since there is a nice-grown 100-year-old camphor tree and several other nanmu and taberia, reservation of the trees, dialogue with countryside, and protection of privacy naturally becomes the common goal of clients and architects.
▽稻田间的民宿夜景 Night view of b&B among rice fields
Within a short period of time, the schematic design of a circular courtyard was presented to the client, with a thesis of employing the circular rammed-earth wall to encircle the trees to build a connection between the dwelling and the site. It is inspired by the topography to use circles to respond to irregular surrounding environments and make the scattered environment elements in a good order. The pattern of “circles stay at the periphery while squares locate inside”allow the architecture to not only integrate into the surrounding open environment but also create a private inner courtyard with many layers.
▽设计草图 Design sketch
▽生成逻辑 Generation logic
▽建筑空间轴测 Building space axonometry
融入自然的空间策略 Spatial Strategy of Integrating into Nature
The spatial layout regards the courtyard as the core while separating the walls which embrace nature, functional rooms, and circulation-aiming corridors from the building. These three elements form an individually-independent but mutually-dependent system, along with rice fields, the camphor tree, ponds, and roads, strengthening the dialogue between the dwelling and nature.
▽建筑与自然形成的交织与对话 Interweaving and dialogue between architecture and natural formation
The rammed-earth walls stand out from the building volume with white walls and gray tiles: the curved walls at the outer periphery become the most important visual focus by interweaving with the inner linear walls and the courtyard space.
▽庭院空间局部，彼此相互渗透 The courtyard space is partial and permeates each other
The building volume is cleanly divided into five rectangular spaces according to different functions with traditional roof tiles as coverings. Six courtyards with different sizes are formed by the building volume and curved rammed-earth walls,and those courtyards are the core spaces when human activities are taking place. The spatial layout follows the logic of “reception space — ancillary space — living space — working space”, eliminating the barriers between outer and inner spaces by allowing each space to embrace the landscape. And the intentionally-reserved camphor tree and nanmu trees integrate beautifully with the building.
▽围合的建筑与院落空间 Enclosed buildings and courtyard Spaces
▽保留场地中原生的古树 Preserve the original old trees on the site
▽不同区域内的院落景观 Landscape of courtyards in different areas
In the project, the paths become the intersecting boundary between architecture and nature. People’s horizons become widened when entering the dwelling, and become semi-separated by the visual boundary of the semi-transparent wood corridor which blurs the borders between outer and inner spaces. After turning past the living space at the end of the corridor, there are four open activity spaces at the left side and the secondary entry with stone-paving at the right side. Some plantains are planted along one side of the secondary entry road, creating a green space while shrinking the size of the path. This shrinkage of space not only offers visitors a special spatial experience but also emphasizes a dramatic spatial transformation from narrow to wide.
▽民宿入口，视线隔而不断 B&b entrance, the line of sight is separated and continuous
▽入口影壁，庭院与树影影绰绰映入眼帘 On the screen wall at the entrance, the courtyard and trees loom in view
▽推门玄关空间 Push door entrance space
▽长廊与庭院，视界打开 Promenade and courtyard, view horizon open
▽水景庭院，池中的树兀自生长 Waterscape courtyard, pond trees grow
▽木质长廊，光影透过格栅洒落 Wooden corridor, light and shadow through the grille
▽走廊尽端视野空间 View space at the end of corridor
▽四面玻璃围合的活动间 An activity room enclosed on all sides by glass
▽通往后院的宅路 House path to the backyard
▽紧邻稻田的书房 Study next to rice field
▽角部没有任何遮拦，框出一幅田园山色画 Corner without any shading, frame a pastoral mountain painting
▽室内空间布局 Interior space layout
The century-old camphor tree in the backyard is the core of the narrative of the project: we want to use our design to express the sense of pleasant and leisure when a group of friends sit under the shade with dulcet birdsong at a wonderful night.The pond next to the camphor tree extend outward to break through and integrate with the surrounding rice field to become an organic whole.
▽后院与百年香樟树，树荫撑开，围聚茶歇 Backyard and century-old camphor tree, shade support, gather tea rest
The side courtyards can lead visitors to the roof terrace which is a beautiful relaxation space surrounded by two giant trees with a view full of green, as the extension of the activity areas.
▽屋顶露台 The roof terrace
▽露台成为绝佳的眺望点 The terrace provides an excellent view
重塑自然的乡建探索 Exploration on Restoring Nature
Chongqing • Jiaoyuan is a countryside-architecture project that explores our philosophy of “designing for returning to the countryside and natural landscape”.
We stick to our principle of paying high attention to natural landscape and integration of architecture with landscape. We also express our respect to the existing topography and plants in our design: the existing trees at the site are all reserved, and the surrounding rice field and the vegetable gardens are restored. It helps to recover the beauty of the pastoral landscape of the traditional Chinese countryside.
▽保留的香樟树及本土化夯土墙洞口 Preserved camphor tree and localized rammed earth wall hole
▽夯土材料对比试验 Comparative test of rammed earth materials
Standing in the field, feeling the breeze, and smelling the fragrance of rice…
Under the warm sunlight, the dwelling is naturally interweaving with the environment; in the corridors, children are happily playing with each other; and outside the courtyard walls, the paddy fields, fruit trees, and vegetables are growing steadily.
▽院墙外辛劳农耕的人们 The people who toil in farming outside the walls
We hope Jiaoyuan will become a pastoral home in the countryside with human activities and with the fragrance of earth.
▽一层平面图 Floor plan
▽二层平面图 Second floor plan
▽椒园剖面 Pepper garden section
Project name：Chongqing Pepper Farmhouse
Architectural design：Yueji Architectural Design Office
Leader designer：Li Jun，He Biao，Tian Qi
Design Team：Li Tao，Xu Xiangdong，Zhang Qian，Wang YuanSheng，Wu Meng，Wang YueDong，WangChao，Li Feiyang
Interior design： SignYan Design
Project location: Chongqing, China
Completion time： 2020.04
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