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Balance, Ordos Villa, China 

A house designed for an unknown client in a planned development for the barren desert of Ordos, Inner Mongolia, China, is to stand amongst 99 other villas in the Jiang Yuan Cultural and Creative Industrial Park. Each of the 100 villas was independently designed by an emerging international architectural practice selected by architects Herzog and De Meuron and curated by artist Ai Wei Wei.

The subtle yet potent gesture of shifting and rotating a glass volume between two solid blocks sets the conceptual framework for our villa: a tension between interiority and exteriority, fragility and tenacity, the ephemeral and the timeless.

The program is broken down into three exterior volumes with five floors internally. The ground and second floor living spaces are interchangeable in their programmed use with generous accommodation for entertaining on both levels. The experiential quality of the two floors, however, is distinctly different: the ground is a space of focused interiority with strategic openings to the south while the glass volume of the second floor offers panoramic views and a unique vantage point given the location of our site.

The villa establishes a delicate dichotomy between solid-void, private-public, traditional-contemporary, employing an architectural vocabulary that oscillates somewhere between the monumental and the intimate.

Project Team (Concept Design)
Kelly Buffey, Robert Kastelic, Terry Sin, Sabrina Richard
(AKB), Samer Hoot (PAD)