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LI WENXI Architects: Four years ago, a gentleman who opened a factory in Dongguan contacted our office via email and said that there was a plot of land in his hometown. He wanted to build a house and asked me to help him design it.
After detailed discussion, I learned that the local transportation was inconvenient, and the transportation of building materials was very difficult. In addition, the surrounding population was sparse, so the labor cost was relatively high. Moreover, at that time, I was working in Tokyo and it was impossible to stay in Xunxi County for a long time. This series of difficulties made me want to push out this design at one point, but after seeing the site, I decided to proceed for one reason only: the cliff.
▽轴测图 Axonometric drawing
▽项目鸟瞰图 Aerial view
▽东南侧夜景 Southeast side night view
山之几何 Geometry of Mountains
The small county located in Hubei Province, China. Which is adjacent to the Qinling Mountains in the north and the Han River in the south. The traffic is inconvenient.
Our site is hidden deeply in the mountains. The cliff is hard and its rough texture is like giant palmprint.
▽场地里的柿子树（摄于2019年冬） Persimmon trees in the field
The valley there is quiet, with morning mist filled. The cliffs block the cold wind from the north and wrap the site inside. The corners of the peaks, the straightness of the cliffs, and the curvature of the mountain roads all hint at sone geometric elements.
▽东面围墙与伸出的梁 East wall with projecting beam
The wall of the building turns diagonally to surround the western side of the mountain, which forms a narrow entrance. The second floor of the house echoes the trend of the mountain with an arc wall.
▽保留的柿子树和柴火 Keep persimmon trees and firewood
▽崖之家弧形墙 Cliff home arc wall
▽几何属性 Geometric attribute
▽南侧庭院夜景 South courtyard night view
▽西侧夜景 Night view of the west side
The beams of the building are huge, protruding from the north and south sides, as if growing from a cliff. The north side of the house approaches the cliff, forming a narrow linear garden. The south side of the house faces the green mountains and opens to embrace nature. The conical space on the roof responds to the shape of the mountains, with only two circular windows inside that can see the external scenery. The light comes from above, making it an introspective space to face oneself alone.
▽北侧靠崖庭院 North side cliff yard
▽冥想空间 Meditation space
方圆角折 Square, Circle, Triangle and Turning Line
The building adopts four types of elements: Square, Circle, Triangle, and Turning Line to respond to local life: “square” refers to the living room and bedroom, that is, the regular living routine; ‘Circle’ refers to the entrance and skylight, that is, the sensual side face of the house; The ‘triangle’ is like a mountain shape and also a meditation space towards the heart; The ‘turning line’ is the wall that encapsulates and accommodates the surrounding environment.
▽方-圆-角-折等四个空间动作 Square – circle – Angle – fold and so on four space action
▽断崖与青山的一体两面 The two sides of the cliff and the green mountains
▽施工过程 Construction process（摄于2021年5月）
The interior design continues the geometric approach, allowing light to enter the building from different angles at different times of the day.
▽山与山墙 Mountains and gables
I have always believed that in the face of nature, every inquiry from a person will receive a response, and the more obvious the action, the more direct nature’s response becomes. The mutual reference between geometry and nature has become the source of architectural spatial beauty.
▽起居室 Living room
▽客厅 Living room
粗粝细腻 Coarse and Delicate
Nowadays, many people like concrete, but what they like is not the original rough texture of concrete, but the treated smooth surface. As an important component of concrete, aggregates were initially extracted from the mountains. When I saw the cliff walls, I realized that silk and smoothness were not its original properties. Concrete should maintain its rough and tough texture like hard stones.
▽粗粝质感的清水混泥土 Plain concrete with a coarse texture
However, roughness can also be delicate: what remains between the walls is the persimmon tree in front of the house, and between the beams, columns and the floor slab, divine light is poured freely, all of which will bring a dense atmosphere to the building.
After four springs, the house was finally completed. Cliff House “is the third independent residence built by our studio. It has been 15 years since I first worked on house design in college. Some people say that architecture is an art of delayed gratification. I believe that as long as I love drifting, the images in my mind will emerge years later.
▽一层平面图 Ground floor plan
▽二层平面图 Two-level plan
▽三层平面图 Three-level plan
▽1-1剖面图 1-1 Section
▽2-2剖面图 2-2 Section
Project Name: Cliff House
Project Type: Independent House
Design company: LI WENXI Architects
Lead architect: LI Wenxi
Design team: Zhou Wuji, Lin Shangliang, Wu Shunchi, Ye Shengtao, Lai Pengfei (structure), Wang Hongying (electrical), Jiang Yujuan (water supply and drainage)
Official website: www.li-wenxi.com
Project address: Hubei, China
Building area: 450 square meters
Materials: Wooden board template, plain concrete, steel, glass, brick
Design time: 2019-2022
Construction period: 2020-2023
Photographer: Jin Weiqi
“ 山崖边上的清水混凝土住宅，以几何的形态与周围的自然相互参照、对话。 ”
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