This 1000 square meeter residence was designed as part of the Ordos 100 residential development, where 100 architects were invited to design houses on parcels chosen by lottery. Our lot was on a corner and the given footprint was rotated at 45 degrees to south, which was the desired orientation. Reorienting the building to give the interior spaces southern exposure became a generating idea for the design. The rotation of the volume generated a ruled surface, which can be described by straight lines connecting points at either edge of the surface. Subdividing segments of the edges of the floorplates into equal parts and connected each point from floor to floor generates the wall geometry. Given the extreme nature of the climate and the proximity of neighboring structures, the enclosing wall of the volume is understood as a protective and privatizing shield. Openings are recessed from the outer surface to form sheltered terraces that mediate between inside and outside. A central twisting glass-enclosed void allows light to enter the center of the structure, provides visual interplay between the spaces in the house and organizes circulation. The wall and the courtyard as design elements reference vernacular Chinese architecture in the way walls define and enclose interior and exterior domestic spaces.

Ordos Villa 003 is featured in: Ai Weiwei Art/Architecture exhibition at the Kunsthaus Bregenz

Ordos100: The inevitable cultural negotiations when building a city in the 21st Century at Art Basel