L HOUSE, sitting on Chongming Island in Shanghai, is designed by Xiuwan Yuan for families of three to have fun on weekends. Chongming Island is linked to Shanghai by a cross-sea bridge, like a floating swim bladder. Chenhai highway runs through the island. Farmland and nursery garden lie in the rectangular road network, and the buildings stand on both sides of road. L HOUSE is on the north side of Hongji Road. Farmland and nursery garden is in another village. The old house (before refurbished) was built in the 1980s. We demolished the old house and rebuilt a new one.
The house site covers an area of about 1,000 square meters. To the east is a house road that goes all the way through the nursery garden. To the west is the river and trees. Each direction has a unique landscape.
Combined with local land regulations and the height and floor area of the old house, the first floor should be controlled at 190 square meters. The total floors should be at two and a half. Therefore, we designed the main house with a sloping top structure, and a secondary house with the construction area of 60 square meters.
As the model on Chongming island, the old house shows a common feature of the residences in China after liberation, which is only to satisfy two most basic functions of eating and living. L House is intended to bring more possible natural routes and space to most common everydayness, sleeping and eating.
The gate is located at the intersection of the road in the southeast to avoid the direct conflict with the road and the visual interference that being too close to the neighborhood buildings. The deliberately elongated moving line takes the gate as the starting point to form a 45° Angle with the main building, of which is parallel to road. The secondary entrance is set in the east of the main building. Along this moving line, the secondary entrance is all the way to the west to meet the line dividing the inner and outer courtyards.
The whole living space is spread out around the inner and outer courtyard. The north of the inner courtyard is a living room, of which the north is passage and stairs leading to the second floor. The first floor of the west of outer courtyard is the bedroom, the second floor owns the master bedroom, and the third floor is the studio, also the multi-functional room.
The inner and outer courtyards are connected by the hallway, which is 45° against horizontal line. The high and low window confuse the distinction between the inner and outer courtyards. The large French window opened to the outside introduces the outdoor landscape into the interior. The high and low window openings show different ways and scenery, some may be same, and some may be different, memories will be alike.
Between the master bedroom and studio, we design the extended landscape stairs through a double-height space, thus the families can enjoy the outdoors while going there and back. Up and down the stairs meet in the intersection of two axes, one is to west to the garden, the other is to the north to the jungle. Cloud-shaped platforms covered with fine stones just like waves surge over the oasis.