Lane House by Archistry Design & Research Office

Designed in 2017 by Nolan Chao of Archistry Design & Research Office, this inspiring apartment is located in Beijing, China.

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Description by Nolan Chao

My name is Nolan Chao. I am an architect and I was born and now live in BeiJing. Took on this home space design because it has an interesting look at the typology of concept and space design for the public stereotypes of home space design it is difficult to bring in any kind of freshness.

The Beijing couple came to discuss with me told me that they need a different way of living,maybe just like living in “hutong” (and only two of them and pets live here).

So I conceptualized the whole design basing on the idea of lanes and how to actually use it possibility.I can perform many of our so-called space”loading”.”uninstalling” and “building up inside” designs.
In this process I carefully maintained the balance because I realized it has the strong contradiction between privacy and openness.

So when the hosts want more privacy and isolation,they use something like the grills,curtains,and when they need more space and openness, they don’t.

Actually I removed some of the walls to create the new compounded rooms in order to expend the double or triple-size space,also the space was very boxy,because it is a typical living space which would probably be normal and boring without removing walls,and I conceptualized the different types of the block rooms as the space with different function and each one have two connection points at least like holes, windows,or doors,forming the effect that spatial flowing and wall covering.So it’s kind of like” a block within a block”, “a lane within a lane”.

Provided with more pluralistic space and freedom to experience the space connection,the hosts have more opportunities to create the possibility and beauty of their own way of life,communicating with each other through different space connections which give people the chance to see or talk with the others.

Walking down the corridor in the middle of the house is the privacy block of the owners,something,such as the windows,curtains,partition doors and grills that hinders vision or shut out light,not only for the host’s privacy,but for the openness.So when hosts close all the wooden and mirror doors,they all look like they’re been largely cut off from the outside world,the only thing left is a very central space with a series of spatial ritual.

I just utilized a few treatments for the materials,like stone,wood,metal and glass,like what they natural look like using in the project.

I use the materials and construction methods that are compatible with the interior and exterior,and create a lot of grey space to make people feel more open in space and the atmosphere harmonious.

In his article “natural reproduction” Alvar Aalto posed a metaphor of the space created by architects should be harmonious
,the most basic one used for weaving is the line of human emotions and the mutual communication.

One of the biggest challenges in this work,for this space,for an architect,is the answer that“which way people take to living in this space”.
I think the answer is the method and the way of this design and construction process that I have never stop feeling,adjusting and optimizing for.

So in the process of design I try to get rid of the influence of elements such as shape,color,etc.,
and try to pay attention on the ritual and way of life.

So the hosts can choose to have meal or work at the kitchen,bedroom,living room,in the regular desk.

See and feel the scale and state of the whole space at the same time it greatly improves their perception and efficiency in the overall space especially in this expensive city.

The spirit of home living is the issue that has always been really obsessed me,not only because I am asked to design a lot of different private home spaces,but I feel that the design theme for shelter and the home is the beginning and intention of architecture and also the interior design.

Photography courtesy of Archistry Design & Research Office

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- by Matt Watts