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Patrick Tighe Architecture

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Project Description

The Twin villa is located 60 miles outside Beijing in the Pingu District of China in a new residential and leisure development surrounding a man-made lake. The existing farming community has been enhanced by the addition of a village center and farmworker housing. Market-rate housing is introduced consisting of a mix of housing for seniors, moderate-income duplexes and villas. The existing hospitality services are being expanded and public access to the lake is being increased. Numerous leisure activities are available including boating and golf.

The site is located on an island with fairly steep topography. The level of the lake varies depending on the rainy season rendering a portion of the lot adjacent to the water unbuildable. The Twin villa’s dynamic form comprises a pair of monolithic volumes. The custom faceted concrete shell structures are nestled into the sloping hillside, burrowing into the hill and cantilevering over the downslope reaching out toward the lake. By embedding the semi-subterranean building into the earth, the villa’s impact on the landscape is reduced. The siting of the residence and its form and massing optimize the views while simultaneously maintaining privacy from the street and the neighbors.

The two wings function as the primary structural system supporting the villa’s main circulation. A central circulation spine separates the pair of residential volumes. The interstitial space is a transparent threshold serving as a visual connector to the lake. Diffused light filters through the transparent void illuminating all levels of the home.

As concrete is the predominant building material of the region and the preferred choice of the local craftsman, various applications of the versatile material are used throughout exploiting its potential. Notions of fluidity, porosity, thickness and smoothness are explored in regards to the relationship between the interior surfaces and the exterior building volume
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