Located in a prime position within steps to the beach, House T not only takes in sweeping view of the sea without any obstruction, but also well enhanced by the pitched-roof “spiritual center” of the Aranya Chapel.
Qinhuangdao is the nearest beach for millions of people from Beijing and Tianjin to enjoy their summer holidays at the seaside. The small town of Aranya, for its serene beach environment and great community engagement, in the last 5 years has become the destination for the new middle-class, to pursue a "quality holiday resort" lifestyle, and ideal location for beach houses.
The design studio Meta-Project was asked by the client to redesign a new house to fit its wonderful setting: they immediately thought to stretch the previous building to the south to maximize the sea view while blocking out the summer sun. Thereafter, to add a shorter wing on the south side to allow an open-plan for more living spaces. In a sustainable way, the lead architects of Meta-Project, Shuo Wang and Jing Zhang, re-create a new spatial experience that flows "through" the building, which engages people with the surrounding of this prime site as one moves through the house, providing a sense of the entire natural/communal environment in incidental moments.
The architectural intent was to create a series of dynamic spaces that could work for multiple gathering niches and more communal spaces for entertaining. The house has an abundance of strategically located large windows, providing abundant day light, minimizing the need for lighting. Majority of the building materials were locally sourced, particularly the rock strips for the ground floor extending from exterior into the interior.
While the ground floor been fully open-planned throughout with semi-outdoor vestibule, kitchen, dining and library, the generous heights of the living room give a feeling of openness and airiness which embraces the views of sea and sky. These living spaces positioned at the ground level, facing a maintenance free exterior garden in a flexible state between private gathering and communal bypass, also engages in its best capacity to connect to the beach activities.
The concept of the house also makes it easy to navigate between the 2 levels. Following the stairs next to the library, one will arrive at the second floor with 4 bedrooms, each with distinguished features. Either spectacular view with the sea, or with a balcony from which you can see the sea, and also feel the breeze without the sunburn, or a frameless corner window open to the inner courtyard.
Ultimately the House T is intended to provide a myriad of atmospheres defined by the spectrum of natural environment and communal life which characterizes the entire setting of the site.
Photo: Rui Jing