suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath floor
original content
jul 09, 2013
suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath floor

suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath ground
all images courtesy of edge design institute




‘limitless variation can only arise from simplicity, and the biggest void is the biggest fulfillment.’

 -gary chang



organized around the idea of layered strata and perched above the dips of the chinese landscape, ‘the suitcase house hotel’ by gary chang marks the first architectural manifestation of a career-long idea of configurable spaces. drawing from the experiential knowledge of a lifetime in dense hong kong, the designer constantly questions the potential for fluidity in habitable spaces and multifunctional objects. for ‘suitcase house,’ a commission from the commune by the great wall, the proverbial image of a house is inverted in that specific programming transforms readily with a concealed landscape of pneumatically assisted floor panels. these metamorphic notched spaces can be are revealed as a music chamber, library, study, lounge, glazed-floor meditation chamber and fully-equipped sauna. drawing from the boundless and stretched built mass of the nearby great wall, the domestically-proportioned hotel and event space is infinitely configurable. surfaces and planes multitask, while large sliding partitions make use of the building’s north-south axis to maximize views of the great wall and bucolic nangou valley as well as enjoy solar exposure. working under the premise that options are a prerequisite of luxury, the customizable planes also liberate interiors of furniture and activate the open-plan room. the space can comfortably house 14 people and is bolstered by the use of full height folding glass doors. the outer skin of the building continues the idea of ‘customizable stratification’ with screens of vertical teak wood cladding that wrap around the cantilevered steel structure. a concrete base houses the pantry, maid’s quarter, boiler room and the sauna. flexibility ceases to be a comprise and rather becomes a sequence of architectural decisions manifested in remarkably consolidated and incredibly free spaces.




the cantilevered volume is sited close to the great wall



programs are configurable by a network of mechanical horizontal doors



the floor is activated into a network of study spaces, meditation rooms and even a sauna



usage diagram



structural diagram



the network of ‘rooms’ beneath the volume of the floor



plan / program view






floor plan



sketches show iterations of the spaces



concepts were honed in



suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath ground


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.

gary chang (2 articles)

product library