atelier FCJZ: FRP house
original content
jan 03, 2012
atelier FCJZ: FRP house

‘FRP house’ by atelier FCJZ, nanjing, china
all images courtesy of atelier FCJZ




by beijing-based firm atelier FCJZ, the ‘FRP house’, short for ‘fiber reinforced polymer’ is a single family residence in nanjing, china which attempts to design for ecological sustainability in the context of the country’s technological developments. research for and use of new building materials is one of the primary strategies in designing for sustainability. the structure’s materiality  therefore took precedence and the goal of testing FRP as a building material was to create a new type of lightweight architecture.  with similar mechanical properties as steel, it has a unit mass a fifth of steel, with an even greater tensile strength. the low-heat  manufacturing process and lightness allows for ease of transportation and construction, resulting in greater energy efficiency and less impact on the land.





in collaboration with a civil engineering institute, the design process consisted of a series of research and development  on the material composition and structural capacity of the new building material. rigorous stress tests revealed its mechanical behavior that determined the optimal material composition for application, while a special technique developed it as an architectural component through a simple and convenient manufacturing process. in contrast to concrete and steel,, the use of FRP, allowed for a structural system well-suited for utilizing plug-in joints and prefabrication, rather than welding and on-site construction generating a rapidly-assembled architecture whose formal expression is a response to the construction process. a constructed 2-storey mock-up of the structure in beijing qianmen verified the investigations.





despite the highly technical process, the technology remains embedded in and inspired by an intimate understanding of  contemporary and traditional culture. the structural system is a reflection of the lightness and re-usability of traditional chinese  wooden architecture, as much as it is an attempt in developing contemporary design culture through the wielding of  new materials and techniques.

building segment

building segment


preparing for testing

installation + orientation

testing for 2 levels structure unit

level 1 load

level 1 load

data collection

site plan

(left) floor plan / waterside level 1
(right) floor plan / waterside level 2

(left) floor plan / central level
(right) floor plan / entry level


research framework

general narrative


material + structural testing


system study

architectural application

model in atelier FCJZ’s beijing studio
image © designboom

model in atelier FCJZ’s beijing studio

image © designboom

project info:

project: FRP house – CIPEA (china international practical exhibition of architecture)
location: south zhenzhuquan area, north foshou lake, zhongzhuang reservoir, nanjing, jiangsu province
client: nanjing foshou lake art development co. ltd
architecture design: atelier FCJZ
principal architect: yung ho chang
project architect: lu bing liu
project team: hen long, wu xia, wang lin, feng bo, huang peng, yan ping wang
consultant: nanjing university of technology, civil engineering institute
R & D: atelier FCJZ and nanjing university of technology
building area: 70 sq. meters
building stories: 2-storied aboveground, 1 story elevated
structural type: FRP spaced structural framing system
design period: 2003-2010
proposed completion: 2011
construction time: 2010-2011

comments policy
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

atelier FCJZ (25 articles)

product library