Villas by The CanalBeijing, China
This premier development comprises 4 luxurious detached villas, the “crown jewels” of a large residential development located in the eastern suburbs of Beijing, abutting to one of the many canals running through Beijing. The four villas, each of 1500sqm, are designed with different interpretations of Chinese styles in a modern idiom.
The progressive layers of the courtyard are the essence of traditional Chinese architecture. In order to express the traditional spirit in the limited land, the courtyard is divided vertically in the plane planning of doublet garden in a creative manner. Well-spaced courtyards of various levels interact with indoor functional space in different dimensions, which ensures the relative independence of courtyards and connect themselves to courtyards in series in a spatial way. The four-sloping roof with the rectangular-ambulatory plane reduces the volume and the oppression to the courtyard by the building. Treatment of eaves and details of the wall between windows are all the interpretation of Chinese elements, thus better combining these elements with modern material and configuration.
Two axes crossed horizontally and vertically make the plane divided into four areas, and the public and private space form spatial series and layering sequence in both directions, representing the unique spatial sense of Chinese architecture. At the intersection of the axis, the three-story glass curtain wall becomes the core of the building. The grid of the curtail wall interprets the vocabulary of Chinese window lattice. The detailed treatment of roof eaves makes façade more exquisite, echoing with the window lattice. White limestone and red sandstone are used for the façade. The two stone materials interspersed enrich the layer of the façade. Moreover, the contrast of the two stones is reflective of the quality of the villa in the case of details.
Considering that this is the biggest villa of the whole project, the Summer Palace, which is covering an area of over 4,000sqm with 2,200sqm of total GFA— the design started by representing the layout of China’s imperial garden architecture. The symmetry of central axis is emphasized, and the living room and the main space for family entertaining along the axis, with other parts of functional space spreading towards both sides evenly. This central axis is extended by adding hills, water and stage in the outside landscape, based on the theory of ‘main hills and main water’ deriving from Chinese geomancy. The façade is to be explained by the sense of magnificence and style that Chinese royal architecture entails. Meanwhile, abstract Chinese traditional motifs are used to be typical of refinement and nobility on the details of cornice and curtain wall.
Just as ancient Chinese thinker Confucius put it ‘The wise enjoy water and the benevolent love mountains’, water is an essential spiritual element in the traditional Chinese culture. For this reason, water is used to link all parts of space, indoor and outdoor, when it comes to the design of the Water Pavilion. The smooth and open indoor space not only enriches the spatial perception but promotes the ventilation of indoor air. The layout could reasonably serve as a booster of indoor natural ventilation, particularly in summer. Attended by the illumination of Chinese landscape painting, the painting lines are refined to be the elements of façade grid. The multiple eaves of Chinese architecture are interpreted by the shading system of the southern side of the curtain wall. Traditional Chinese elements are transferred to the modern material by the treatment of laser cutting.