Economically and geographically, the rapid expansion of Beijing has had a profound effect on the city’s periphery, subjecting areas within one hour’s drive of the capital to furious residential development.
The undulating beauty of the landscape in these areas exists in marked contrast to the repetitive, planned efficiency of the suburbs rushing out to meet them. The challenge of this project was to create an architectural expression that could respond to this natural context.
Hongluo Villa District is located to the north of Beijing, and is situated along the shore of Hongluo Lake, with an impressive view of the mountains beyond.
A wooden bridge crosses the lake, and the clubhouse is situated on an irregular 487 sqm platform in the middle of the bridge. The whole club appears to float on the water, reflecting the surrounding mountains, and becoming the centre of the whole area.
The structure appears to ascend from the lake itself. A continuous, reflective surface rises up out of the water, becoming first the roof and then the walls of the house. This surface blurs the distinction between solid and liquid states, between building and environment.
The roof surface forms an x shape beneath it, from which two further branches extend into the lake. The first is a sunken garden, which acts the main entrance to the house from the shore. It lies 1.3 meters below the surface of the lake, leaving the visitor feeling as if they are walking through water to access the building. At the other end of the house is the swimming pool: inserted flush with the lake, keeping natural and artificial water surfaces at the same level. Again the boundaries between inside and outside, between intervention and nature, are blurred.
The interior of the house is equally fluid, a continuous space, without internal boundaries. In contrast to the standardized, strictly divided spaces of the urban environment, Hongluo Clubhouse follows the ‘fragile rules’ of nature: people are encouraged to create their own pathway through the house, and experience it as they wish. The understanding of this public space is shaped by the user, not the architect.
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