suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath floor
suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath floor suitcase house by gary chang hides program beneath floor
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


  • It’d make a great mausoleum.

    JJ says:
  • Beautiful and ingenious — building as dynamic wardrobe.

    Mort d'Urban says:
  • depressing. given a large space with a small mind set as if one has to make do with a small space. completely wrong application of a concept. jj is right, it’d make a great mausoleum.

    flyingchow says:
  • Hasn’t this been around for quite some time? I’ve seen this or something identical in a few books years ago. Either that or it’s a direct rip….

    LH says:
  • I could live in this mausoleum. They build a boat on land. Great!

    Robin says:
  • Maintains it’s elegance ’cause it doesn’t show peoples stuff. The sense of suitcase -like utility may not translate well when 14 people bring all their belongings.

    mossarden says:

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