AZL architects: CIPEA number 4 blockhouse, nanjing, china
AZL architects: CIPEA number 4 blockhouse, nanjing, china AZL architects: CIPEA number 4 blockhouse, nanjing, china
may 16, 2013

AZL architects: CIPEA number 4 blockhouse, nanjing, china

AZL architects: CIPEA no.4 house, nanjing, china

image © yao liall images courtesy of AZL architects



among the lush greenery of the laoshan forest in the eastern chinese city of nanjing is an architectural complex that brought together twenty-four designers to manifest ideas about built space. among those twenty small homes is the ‘no.4 block house’ by local firm AZL architecture, the five bedroom dwelling channels the formal spirit of the pagoda with four cubic floors tacked vertically. the spatial organization allows for minimal excavation of the valley site while making for optimal synthesis of the roofline with the horizons of the landscape.


with the bucolic environment swathes the home, the architecture simultaneously creates a visual break from the textured vegetation with curved concrete planes that lift and reveal open hallways and ample glazing. the understated facade geometry also helps reframe views more dynamic than simple horizontal breaks, while alluding to the chinese landscape scrolls through its curved apertures as well as the quiet contemplation inherent in a chinese garden. the roof itself is fitted with a dark wooden deck, thereby using program and sight-lines to invite the surrounding greenery and nearby stream into the home.




the home is nestled into a lush valley

image © yao li



the cubic stacks are meant to refer to a pagoda

image © yao li



curved openings reframe the landscape and make the building envelope replete with dynamism

image © yao li



each horizontal break is accompanied by a sinuous aperture

image © yao li



the sculpted concrete is meant to invite the landscape into the home

image © yao li



interior view displays a rich material palette

image © yao li



bathroom interior

image © yao li



open halls are clad in dark wood

image © yao li



the decked roof is meant to help users contemplate the terrain

image © yao li




project info:


location: nanjing, jiangsu province, chinaarchitect in charge: zhang leiproject team: zhang lei, jeffrey cheng, wang wang, wang yi collaborator: architectural design & planning institute, NJUproject area: 500 sqmproject year: 2008-2012

  • “Drawer #2: Letterheads” .. “Drawer #3: Envelopes” …C’mon, other than automatic weapons fired in the crapper, nothing too interesting?!


    jimCan says:
  • How depressing, all the windows are reduced to slivers!

    Ryan says:
  • not bad if this might be a museum. for apartments: wrong. wrong wrong.

    d.teil says:

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