Distorted Courtyard 481㎡


Architecture is the art of relationship. In much the same way that we approach the making of architecture in the metropolis, where we constantly have to address the issues of an appropriated private/public interface, we treat the house as un urban form in microcosm, where the hierarchy of various domains: the intimate (relating to the sleeping function), the communal (relating to living/dining activities) and the public (relating to the external environment) is defined with controlled interaction.

This house is a “distorted” version of the traditional courtyard house. It is “distorted” in two senses. In the literal sense, the footprint is adjusted from the orthodox square shape to conform to the specifics of site topography and view orientation. In the conceptual sense, the house offers the traditional attribute of the courtyard: a tamed and internalized environment providing coziness and a sense of protection to the private domain, but then transcends it by opening up the communal domain to engage the external wild environment in a more contemporary adventurous spirit. It also addresses the practical realities of a modern holiday house; the need to adapt to various user groups and activity patterns. Thus the communal domain is designed not with a rigid functional demarcation but as a flexible volume, flanked by a continuous service zone alongside and capable of being subdivided by sliding screens into various spatial arrangements to fit different group sizes and allow activities to interflow, overlap or be secluded. This contemporary spatial concept co-exists with the orthodox one geared to the traditional courtyard.

Finishes for the house are kept basic with no superfluous elements. White rendered walls, timber floors and stone paving all help to convey a sense of silent rural domesticity in difference to nature. The bamboo sunscreen that protect the exposed southwest facade has an ethereal quality that c contrasts with the solid permanence of the courtyard enclosure.

Picturesquely arranged three storeies, two levels of open-air courtyards with a small terrace, are neatly composed. There are four bedrooms. The host bedroom on the third floor has no wall or door, just like a lonely-elevated stage. Closely connected with the outside, the bedroom has an excellent broad view.

The interior of the house is decorated in a simple and elegant way. The white walls, wooden floor and stone covering remind you of country life. You may enjoy gardening, breathing fresh air and basking in the sun on the terrace that are rare in cities.

The Distorted Courtyard is a nice venue for private meetings, small news briefings and high-level meetings. Barbeque parties and other outdoors activities can be hosted on the terrace or in the open-air courtyards.

Rocco Yim (Hong Kong)

Enquiries & Reservations

86-10-81181888  400-815-9888


Commune by the Great Wall

The Great Wall Exit No.53 at

Shuiguan G6 Jingzang Highway,