On the way to the project site, there is an abundance of lush green trees that decorate the surroundings. As we traversed the Guanting Reservoir wetland, we first saw the distant Xiaohaituo Mountain in the Olympic Park of Yanqing District, Beijing. After a few turns, our gaze fixed upon two rows of small houses situated in the northeast corner of Qianheilongmiao Village, at the conclusion of the fruit orchard. The terrain of the courtyard gradually rises from south to north. Adjacent to the east wall of the courtyard is a natural woods growing on a slope, appearing as if it has been expressly prepared for recounting a story of escape from the doldrums of adulthood and urban life.
The entire site is simple and charming. Is it possible for extraordinary adventures and enjoyable usage to coexist? How do we maintain a balance between being unique and commonplace? We relied on the original conditions of the site and underwent considerable improvements.
The northern side of the original residence features a courtyard, which is significantly higher than the village road outside the wall. This demonstrates an elevation discrepancy of nearly 3 meters between the two. To fully utilize the available space and recreate the protagonist's journey of going up and down from the fairy tale, we dug out a new courtyard in the center of the original courtyard, making the newly excavated sunken courtyard is as close as possible to the height difference of the village road. Additionally, we relocated the entrance of the courtyard from the southern to the northern side.
The entrance gate and walls of the courtyard appear to be towering, like a castle on the low-lying village road. However, upon entering the gate and walking through the brick well hallway, one feels like a young child venturing into a rabbit hole from a fairy tale, suddenly finding themselves in an entirely different world. The sunken courtyard is surrounded by recreational entertainment halls, kitchens, and other relevant supportive chambers. The courtyard is supported by six square columns, and the light footsteps of children can be heard above. At the end of the courtyard, sunlight shines down and reflects off the plants.
After ascending the steps from the sunken courtyard, when one reaches the original ground level, an expansive sight of distant mountains, treetops, and fields comes into view. Meanwhile, one can see the terrace, lawn, and water surface nearby.
The original two buildings were in good condition, so they were able to be preserved smoothly. An additional stratum of colossal unidirectional steel roofing was added to the roof of the building on the north side, which is observable from the edge of the village. Using exaggerated volume to balance the commonality of residential buildings.
A multifunctional hall has been built underneath the large steel roof in the form of a glass box, making it appear as if the steel roof is floating lightly above the building. Incorporate public recreational and transportation functions into the original house, while using red brick materials to reinstate the building's rustic charm within the village.
The relationship between the old and new aspects of the house is fully elucidated through its structure and craftsmanship, functionality and materials. The new structure provides a framework for the bygone building while the original architectural space establishes groundwork for new uses.
The guest rooms are situated on the southern flank of the communal zone, and the tranquil and cozy resting quarters can be accessed through the corridor of the indoor lounge. Preserve trees that are taller than one person on site, connect four guest rooms with a corridor to form a more private inward courtyard, and the overall form of the courtyard echoes the sunken courtyard in the front yard.
Stepping out of the courtyard, you can leap into the outdoor infinity pool next to the house, as if returning to the pond where I played as a child. The difference was that through the glass pool wall, perhaps this time we could really become the mermaid in the fairy tale.
The renovation of the slope on the east side of the site conforms to the original height changes in the topography. It has been leveled into several platforms with different functions, textures, and variations in elevation. These tiers are interconnected through a series of steps. The stone platform is situated on the lowest level of several tiers and has a strong connection to the external realm. The grassy platform face to opens up to the pool, harmoniously fusing untamed rusticity with contemporary design. The wooden platform serves as a complex of treehouses guest rooms and is situated in closer proximity to the core functions of the courtyard.
Three treehouses are presented in a dotted form within the cluster, closely connected but not interfering with each other. The simulated thatched roofs of the treehouses offer improved fire safety measures while maintaining a realistic look. As the night descends, the treehouses emit scattered, warm illuminations.
An elevated walkway spans over the slope, surrounding the treehouse and preserving the trees and grass on the site. As one navigate each corner on the elevated walkway, the view remarkably alters due to the varying heights of the platforms. One rediscovers the unrestricted delight of childhood excitement.
Ascend the staircase encompassing the abode, ascend towards the steel terrace of the additional, and the elevated altitude of treetops directs one's attention to the captivating sensation of tension and exhilaration. Concurrently, redirecting the focus of "children" towards boundless fantasies revolving around clouds and stars as well as a distant glimpse of the village.
What lies in the distance? It likely is the camping area, illuminated by the twinkling lights. Maybe it's just a dream.