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Hillside Dwelling by Archstudio

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The project is a guest room situated on the 28th floor of New Everbright Center – ArtPark9, Tongzhou District, Beijing. The goal was to create pleasant living experiences in a standard unit of urban high-rise buildings and explore a possible future lifestyle.

Dwellings of mankind have been changing with time. In the primitive period, people lived in caves. Our ancestors turned to nature for shelters and defined the pre-existing caves as living spaces. As time moving on, ancient people sought to live a secluded life in mountains, representing a lifestyle of staying away from the bustling world and coexisting with nature. Nowadays, urban people inhabit concrete jungles, with residence becoming a kind of standard spatial product. Based on reflections on the evolution of human beings’ dwellings, ARCHSTUDIO tried to return to the origin and essence of living spaces and stimulate the interaction between people and the outdoor environment.

In the rectangular space, the floor is raised from the bottom of the large French window to the ceiling gently, which forms a hillside-shaped structure and generates three-dimensional relations between people inside the space and landscape outside. Based on people’s living behaviours and body size, five basic functional areas were created within the space, including the entrance and the washroom in the caves under the hillside, areas for sleeping and bathing which are on the best place of the hillside to enjoy the outdoor view, and the area for walking and resting on the lower part of the hillside.

The hillside is covered with cork boards, featuring a soft and warm texture. All the caves can be taken as bespoke furniture, with their functions being defined by body size and physical behaviours. Besides, the space is equipped with some necessary modern facilities such as a mini bar and a projection screen, which are hidden on the wall and ceiling, ready for use at any time.

This space creates a co-existing relationship between the artificial and the natural, the primitive and the exquisite, and the clear and the ambiguous. Though not a “comfortable” space in the traditional sense, it provides people who are used to cosy urban life with unique sensory and physical experience, and enables them to recapture the joy of living.

Design team: Han Wenqiang, Song Huizhong; Design company: ARCHSTUDIO; Area: 80 m2; Completion time: November 2018; Photography: Jin Weiqi;