Project Name: 4-2-1 House
Location: Ordos, Inner Mongolia
Scope: Villa within the ORDOS 100 masterplan, 2008-2011
The artist Ai Wei Wei working with Jacque Herzog proposed a masterplan in a new city-centre of Ordos in which 100 villas would be designed by 100 different architects. Our design strategy begins with the articulation of the landscape in a system of terraced measured edges. All edges are vectors that have an origin, a direction, and a magnitude. As such, they can be used to process a third vector as a cross product. The derived verticals are not only markers of mathematical models but are here used also as design tools. As an extension of the vector cross product, the house is a collection of terraced fields that unfold in a series of tableaux that generate views of the building in a cinematic sequence while maintaining the programmatic elements of a 1,000-square-meter residence. House 4-2-1 has a movement of four to two to one that progresses from the ground, where there are four separate towers that climb upward to two towers and combine into the final, single level. This simple system of bifurcation is amplified by the programmatic divisions that challenge the organization of a typical house.
Paul Kassabian (structural engineer)
Chris Shusta, Elizabeth Bishop
Anthony Di Mari, Juta Cinco
Michael Powers, Aimee Epstein