Villa 08, Nanjing

Mansilla + Tuñón 

The house is imagined as a clearing in the woods bound by two perimeters: the interior one, continuous and transparent, holds the structure; the exterior one, beyond the first, is formed from a bamboo screen. The volume is defined by a fluid border that does not present a physical boundary, but creates intermediacy rather, a threshold where interior and exterior can be mistaken, allowing contact with nature.

Its shape is that of a breath exhaled into the air, always variable and continuous. The entrance to the house operates like a glass funnel, giving the impression of being inside when it is actually an exterior. The eye perceives spaces that are alternately compressed and dilated, an intimation of the act of breathing of a living organism. In the proximity of such splendorous nature, the house is a space that rolls around itself, that can, like clothing, turn itself inside out. It is a space defined by the changing band that softens the summer sunlight and directs the points of view.

The interior is fluid and continuous, a concrete slab on which the spaces for living have been drawn by an innocent hand, like chalk on a blackboard. The technical instruments are arrayed like furniture, like people sitting in a forest clearing. The concrete slab rests on the laminated steel pillars of the inner, glass perimeter; these pillars, placed approximately a meter and a half apart from each other, allow minimum sections of 6x10 centimeters. The glass is fitted between the pillars, using the steel structure for window frames. This structure at once materializes the glass perimeter and diffuses its structural appearance, emphasizing the linear continuity of the band.

The spatial understanding of the house as a whole permits flexible and versatile functioning. Common spaces, such as the kitchen and the living room, are near the entrance – open spaces with a transparent perimeter that allows for abundant ventilation and natural lighting. Next to the entrance is a small toilet room and wardrobe. The bedroom program has been thought out in such a way as to suit either a family unit or a more loosely associated group of individuals. Four bathrooms serve four rooms, which can be equally used as bedrooms or studios. An independent structure, located some meters beyond the perimeter, serves as a utility and storage room. A paved area at the end of the pathway serves as a car park. The rest of the site is split into gardens and gravel walking paths.

Cliente Client

China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture

Arquitectos Architects

Luis M. Mansilla, Emilio Tuñón; Ding Wowo (arquitecto local local architect)

Colaboradores Collaborators

Luis Díaz-Mauriño, Matilde Peralta, Clara Moneo, Asa Nakano, Catherine Cotting, Andrés Regueiro, Ricardo Lorenzana, María Langarita