Looking at the second floor from the courtyard
Foto © Project-ion
night view from bird's eye
Foto © Project-ion
Looking at the second floor from the entrance
Foto © Project-ion
Looking at the side courtyard from the entrance
Foto © Project-ion
Main courtyard
Foto © Project-ion
night view of the main courtyard
Foto © Project-ion
Foto © Project-ion
viewing the courtyard from the living room
Foto © Project-ion
viewing the courtyard from the platform
Foto © Project-ion
the plan from the bird's eye
Foto © Project-ion
viewing the wall from the courtyard
Foto © Project-ion
viewing the bedroom from the top
Foto © Project-ion
bedroom in the night
Foto © Project-ion
the tree in the main courtyard
Foto © Project-ion
the main courtyard and living room in the night
Foto © Project-ion
main courtyard in the night
Foto © Project-ion
Visualisierung © Li Wenxi

Boundary House

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Sundian Village, Zhaoling District, 462000 Luohe
LI WENXI Architects
Leading Architect
LI Wenxi
Design Team
Pang Mengxia, Lai Pengfei
Main Body Construction
LI Laihuo Team
Doors and Windows
Yan Chuanwei, Xia Heng, Zhang Chunlei, Zhao Xuebing, Xue Xiaoying Handles, Railings, Steel Stairs: Xue Yibo, Li Pengfei, Sun Denghui


Going back to three years ago, the day when I thought of "Boundary House".

I met Sun Zhaoyang in the winter evening of 2016. During the chat, I learned that he wanted to build a house for his parents in his hometown. His hometown is located in the village on the outskirts of Luohe City, Henan Province, China. The site is at the end of the village, facing the fields. What is in the distance? Hills, desulphurization towers and rock birds that don't want to go back to the nest.

One Flowering Tree

The first thing is to build a circle of boundary wall. This is not our original intention, but the local convention. I am not disgusted with this, because the wall does not mean blocking. In my opinion, it likes a cell membrane, which constructing a mechanism for selecting and transmissing, and also setting a starting point and basis for our design.

Enclose A Piece of Land, Circle A Deserted Site.

Push down the dilapidated red brick walls and collect them as building materials for the new home; remove the original potted trees and temporarily settle in the ground at the door of the house; loosen the concrete floor in the yard to reveal the moist soil and grass.

In the enclosed area, there are the memories for decades of a family.

In the center of the site (old house), there is a sweet-scented osmanthus tree and a magnolia tree. This low-growth sweet-scented osmanthus tree grows well. Accompanied him to spend his childhood, boy-time, went to college, graduated, and finally worked. Well the magnolia died when the owner was young. He missed her very much and said that the tree was very tall and blossomed every year.

What comes with the "enclosure" action is the concept of inner, outer and center.

Windows are a medium for communicating inside and outside. We arranged nine windows on the boundary wall. Most of them were on the path of walking. They were in various shapes. Some of the windows were facing the sunflower field in the inner courtyard. In order to make the flower into a painting which hung on the wall. Some of the windows are extremely long, in order to intercept the treetops of the birch forest; some break through the corners, just to see the mountains farther.

One magnolia was replanted in the courtyard, from a distant seedling field in the mountains in Changchun the name of the seedling company is called the North Country Spring. They uprooted the tree, wrapped the branches, subtracted the twigs, and loaded them in the truck overnight.

In the past three years, this magnolia tree has been acclimatized and has not blossomed. Until last year, the branches suddenly bloomed with white flowers, and the whole family was very happy! It seems to have returned to the childhood of Chaoyang 30 years ago, Sun Shu’s youth.

The Construction of Boundary Space

The logic of formal organization takes place around the boundary wall. The entrance is close to the neighboring of his uncle on the south side. After entering, it moves clockwise around the boundary wall, passing through pavilions, walkways, steel structures and a small courtyard. Then go to the west side, you can choose to go to the living room, or go to the second floor. When you enter the living room, you can see the main courtyard, where planted the magnolia tree.

Under the tree, there is a steel staircase leading to the height. The height, that is, the roof of the pavilion, is a small space independent of the large platform on the west side. Although the area is small, the view is unusually wide, when you look south or west. You can see the dark green forest in the distance.

The large platform on the west side of the second floor connects the endless fields. The pavilion, the living room, and the bedroom occupy the south, west, and north sides, respectively, forming a grip on the inner garden.

Considering typology, in the boundary space, there are nine spatial relationships between the body and the wall, analogous to the treatment of the boundary wall by traditional Chinese dwellings. The nine types here are: the types of paste and contain of the room and the boundary wall. The type of paste of the stairs and the wall, the paste of the platform and the wall, and the contain and interruption of the steel frame and the wall. Among them, the abstract relationship between the steel frame and the wall is rarely to be seen in the traditional Chinese houses. A similar space appears in the bridge on the north side of the Sa Liu Yuan Yang Guan in the Humble Administrator's Garden and in the corridor named You Yi Cun on the north side of the Lingering Garden, except that they are continuous and linear. The steel frame here emphasizes the transition in the space transition.

Looking through the window in the west, you can hear the neighbors’ chats through the south wall, plant the moss in the small garden in the north, and draw a gravel pattern in the east courtyard. Under the magnolia tree, you could smell the spring, see the sunflowers in the bushes in the south, they are unscrupulous.

Everything happens in this place only less than 100 square meters, by chance, but unlimited with the time flies. The breath of nature is smashed in walking, and integrated into everyday life, piously and concretely.

Zhaoyang (house owner) said:

For a long time, I wanted to build a house for my parents. Because the old house has been in existence for 30 years, the reality is, it is not suitable for living. After several renovations, it is also a patchwork. Although my parents did not say, but they want to live in a new house. It is the wish of the elderly for many years. After working, I have a certain economic foundation, and this desire is getting stronger and stronger. The two brothers and sisters do not often live at home, usually go home on weekends. The hope for new houses is mainly concentrated in having enough living space, allowing parents, sisters and families to become married, but most of the time only two parents live. Small and warm is the main realistic factor considered at that time. The other is to build a fun house.

After the house entered the construction stage, the father's spirit was surprisingly good. Every day, he participated in the construction on the site. Father who had had one or two colds every year had miraculously had no illness all year round. The joy was overwhelming. On the day when I didn't have the windows and doors, I was on the phone with my father. At the time, he was on the balcony on the second floor. I could feel the summer wind in that position. I asked him how he felt. The father who was not good at words gently Said, like painting, at that moment I felt the beauty of life.

After the new house was built, I really felt the meaning of the house to the family life. My sister’s little daughter was only a couple of years old. Every time I got home, I was excited in the yard and ran around the house because there was a lot of the path and space let her play. Every day, my parents will look at the magnolia in the yard, the sweet-scented osmanthus flowers and the flowers and plants that they planted, go to the garden to work, and return home to enjoy the simplicity of life. There are always friends and family in the family to come to the door. Because of the relative independence of the living room and bedroom, I can always read quietly without being disturbed.

In the spring, the magnolias in the yard are blooming. From time to time, there are birds that perch on the branches. There are fields on the side of the house. Looking through the long window, the green wheat looks like a scroll. In the summer, my father spends more time in the garden, watering the trees and flowers, and busy in the busy hours. At night, the balcony on the second floor is always breezy, and his father sometimes smokes and drinks tea there. In the autumn, the leaves began to fall in the yard. Through the round skylights, it is easy to feel the autumn high, and occasionally even see the plane passing by. In the evening of this season, the indoor lighting is turned on, which makes people feel strong warmth. In the winter, the neighbors and the uncle became the regulars of the family. This is really the light of the house. The relatives and friends are sitting in the living room, and the sun shines through the glass door. Everyone gathers and chats, full of winter comfort.

As stated in "My Castle in the Air", although there are no birds, every morning there is a bird's ear. There is no need to hang a picture, there is a giant painting outside the door - the name is nature. (This section is taken from the chat with the owner)

About Resident and Out of Control

Xia and Yan are friends I met at Nanjing University. They made doors and windows for this house. The drawings of Xia were professional which full of details. So the relationship between glass and window frame is well controlled.

Xue made railings, stairs and door handles for the house. This buddy must drink a pound of white wine before each work, he can understand the drawings when he is awake, but he can only work if he drinks alcohol. We passed the ditch several times, his speaking speed was very fast, he looked very busy, and he was not sure when he could get the finished product and when he could come over and install it. The final product and the drawings are all different, such as the handle is reversed, the railing is thin, the stairs are bigger, and so on. Fortunately, the effect is not as bad as imagined. It can be seen that in the subconscious, he still controlled.

I hope that this house will always accompany the family, from Sun to the sunset, the sunset to the moon, and the moon to the morning. Then which became a relic in the past 100 years and became one of another hometown of mine.

House, the folk about life.
What I understand of life, ordinary but with profound.

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