Next to the inner courtyard, there is a garden with four acres of land surrounded by fence.
- The Odyssey
The project is located in an old urban center of Lecong town, Foshan, Guangdong. It was an old house built in the 1990s. Due to the original residence does not meet the needs in space, function and aesthetics, the owner decided to replan the whole residence.
The original residence can be divided into two parts, a ground floorgarden surrounded by a single wall and a four storey main building. Before the re planning, we reached a consensus with the owner that we want to return the building to zero first, that is, only retain the frame structure system of the original main building and dismantle all the original enclosure shared walls, so as to save the expenses of civil engineering.
There are nine people living here which are the owner couple, owner's parents and his five children. In the new design, the first and the second floors are used for the daily life of the family, and the third and the fourth floors are mainly rest areas.
The house is located at the edge of a group of blocks. At the triangular intersection of the two streets, the house retains dimensions changes from west to East, from high to low, and from main to auxiliary. Due to the low height of the garden part, there is a "breathing" blank area whether looking at the building from the street direction or from the inside out of the building. Because the building presents L-shape from the vertical facade and the original building plane, that's the way we called the project "L house".
The concept of "three-dimensional courtyard" comes from the spatial composition of Lingnan residential buildings. In Lingnan, in the traditional first or double yards residential form, it usually has settings for the front yard and atrium. These yards are mainly used for shading and ventilation and also are inward orientation, which are related to the metaphor of "water". In the practice of L house, we try to apply this concept to the design and rethink the significance of the courtyard to life. The sunken courtyard on the first floor, the open terrace on the second floor, the aerial platform and corridor on the third and fourth floors, and the sunshine bathroom on the roof. These layers of vertically rising and extending "courtyards" fill all parts of the house.
On the basis of the original structure, a relative "blank area" is enclosed by the new frame structure wall. As a transition space between indoor and outdoor, it connects multiple aerial platforms. The existence of these platforms creates more opportunities for family communication and regulates the relationship between users and the environment.
Since the living room is set on the second floor, in order to avoid the gap caused by the height difference between daily life and the garden, after removing the original garden wall, we embedded a two-story concrete wall box structure as an alternative, so as to raise the garden on the first floor to the height of the second floor and eliminate the hierarchy between the two.
The first floor of the concrete box connects the moving lines of the porch, multi-functional area and garage in series through the insertion of the wall. The courtyard placed in the multi-functional area not only meets the day-lighting of the first floor, but also connects with the open terrace in the vertical direction. The garage uses glass separating to solve the day-lighting problem of large depth. In addition to the original stairs, we also added a new stair at the entrance to the living room on the second floor.
As a whole, different facade forms are selected for different orientations. On the northwest side, the original staircase reserved is not only used for traffic, but also a "airway" for ventilation. At the same time, we hope it will become a rising "ladder of light". Lights from the irregular window is also reflected on the north and west facade.
The windows of these two facades are designed to be flush with the wall, and the image idea of this structural form also comes from the traditional Lingnan folk house. Due to the turbulent social environment at the time of construction, the residential window area was very small, and the relationship between the wall and the street was isolated, reflecting the tendency to maximize the indoor area. It is similar to the base map of urban streets in medieval Europe, showing the characteristics of inward orientation and defense, and its influence on people's ideas continues to the present.
The grid wall in the south not only ensures privacy (only 4 meters away from the adjacent street), but also plays the function of ventilation. The house adopts white and concrete gray. These colors without hue comes the ideas from the tradition of using gray quenched bricks in Lingnan green brick house. In consideration of the surrounding environment, the whole house volume is not unified into white, but the original texture of the concrete box is retained, which visually disperses the huge volume.
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