MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs
 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

located within a mountainous area near the great wall, in north beijing, MDDM studio has transformed an old underground fruit storage building into a residential extension. originally built in the middle of last century, the existing structure is made out of natural stone and consists of a rectangular volume. the architects have re-designed the building as an addition to the client’s house on the south side of the property, placed in an elevated position.

house on the great wall 1
all images by jonathan leijonhufvud

 

 

the existing storage is constructed north facing, partially underground in a basin lower than its surroundings. the design strategy by MDDM studio focused on three main directions: enhancing the identity of the storage and its stone walls, allowing as much light as possible to the interior space and preserving the panoramic view from the existing house owned by the client. the stone walls are preserved to a large extent and are fully exposed, contrasting with the polished concrete structure and white plastered interior walls. only in the north side the stone wall has been replaced by a large glass façade, and the soil was removed to create a generous terrace. 

house on the great wall 2

 

 

the new roofing was created to maximize the natural light input to the house, replacing the existing structure by two concrete slabs, which are detached from the stone wall and set at two different heights. this design was able to give to the house a modern look, different from the neighbouring houses, yet very integrated with the natural surroundings. in fact, the roof looks like two garden platforms floating above each other in perfect balance with the stone wall below, as well as with the slope terrain that envelops the plot. The different heights of the roofs creates a gap in between them, which allows more natural light to penetrate the central part of the building, while improving the natural ventilation during the warm seasons.

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

 

the bedrooms are located below the higher roof, enjoying a contemplative feeling thanks to their high ceilings and high-rise windows. they are connected through a passage which is elevated by three steps to the adjacent living area. next to the bedrooms, in the southeast corner, a tunnel connects the new house with to the existing residential building. in this project, the architecture and interior are based on the idea of meaningful interventions, forming a space that is rich in experience. the previous structure and function are visible, highlighting the balance between old and new. the design is a play between light and material, voids and solids. the voids are carved out to lead the light in while the solid elements bring materiality to the space.

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

 

the design plays with the materiality of the existing stone wall, the concrete roofs and the wooden box that hides the garage. these elements are combined with the position shift of the two roof slabs, creating gaps and cavities that allow the light in from multiple points. the light is in fact a continuous gradient of indirect brilliances coming from all directions and changing from the early morning to the evening. the big window on the north façade provides a diffuse light in the living room. this light is softened by the reflection of the windows in between the roof: the light is bounces on the white division wall to the bedroom and reaches the living room with a softer intensity. all the openings located in different parts of the house receive different quality of light and contribute constantly like different instruments performing a symphony. 

house on the great wall 4

 

house on the great wall 5

 

house on the great wall 6

 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

house on the great wall 9

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

MDDM studio tops 'house on the great wall' in beijing with overlapping green roofs

 

house on the great wall 11

 

house on the great wall 12

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: house on the great wall

architecture office: MDDM studio

project team: margret domko, momo andrea destro, amirlin sunderiya

structural design: davide tomasi

 

 

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: myrto katsikopoulou | designboom

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