In a unique project ORDOS 100, conceptualized by FAKE design and Al Wei Wei, 100 architects worldwide have been chosen by design greats Herzog & de Meuron to design a single villa in inner Mongolia. Matharoo Associates are representing India.
A gently lifting dune, swept gracefully by the wind, blanketed by layers of snow- a most striking image that led to our design for House 23. As if both the Yurt and the Yaodong opened up to the sun and transformed into this floating dwelling.
The design employs the elements of the land and climate of the place as aids in insulating the building. It sits partially buried in the site, the rest being buttressed by an earth bank on one side. This along with the continuous air shaft along the inner side of the curved wall becomes the insulating layers. The earth heat exchange tubes circulate the air through earth and into the house making a warmer shield around the innermost home. They also serve as columns for the light floors suspended on them and flower out to support the crimped final roof at many places.
The swimming pool is positioned embedded in ground to make it private, and gain heat through a steel surface acting as a heat exchanger with warm earth, making the entire water body a latent heat source. Moreover the reflection from the water is carried over to the north side making the suspended house get washed completely in sunshine from both north and south.
The house opens out towards the south, thereby receiving maximum sunlight. The roof form curves to the south, and stops at an optimum angle to allow maximum light penetration. The angle between maximum incidence and minimum is used to derive the section taking advantage of sunlight throughout the year.
A double layered wall ( that also houses services) runs continuous from the outside edge of the house, retaining the earth bank, along the entrance and then turns into the house itself, cutting through the linear staircase, and then finally rises along the deck-where it serves as an effective wind barrier.
The house is vertical in its programming which ensures that the footprint is an optimal minimum. It is designed to echo the nomadic nature of settlement traditionally existing in Mongolia; therefore everything starting from the structure, material, and sizes are kept economical and light. The house therefore can be sequentially dismantled at any given time, removing its layers of insulation and then the home, and finally be left with the land as it came- bare and devoid of occupation.