The Twins 477㎡


The ambiguity between nature and the man-made found in many traditional painted renderings of Chinese landscapes forms a point of departure for the design of the House on Plot 9, given its awe-inspiring location in the foothills of the Shuiguan mountains and connection with that superlative, man-made construction, the Great Wall.

The House has been designed to seamlessly integrate with its natural environment. For example, one of its main material components is a type of stone that is found in the area. The layout of the house in the form of a larger building and a smaller annex, both in the shape of an L, and their careful positioning within the valley has also helped to create this integration. The annex which houses the kitchen and dining areas is nestled against a steep cliff to the north side of the valley and at a 45 degree angle to the main building which holds the other main living areas.

Both these buildings and the north cliff-side enclose a quiet courtyard of sorts, forming what would be the most unexposed and intimate part of the house. Stepped timber decks crawl like creepers all the way around the perimeter of the buildings and into the landscape. They provide connecting paths into the house and into the “extended garden” (which is in fact the entire valley), as well as other places for rest and contemplation. Unlike traditional courtyards which are largely closed to the exterior apart from the sky above, the house is perforated on all sides by special openings so that even while inside, one is constantly visually connected to the outdoors. This is one illustration of how, rather than protect itself from its context, the house works with and borrows from its natural surroundings to make up its fabric.

The Twins consists of a main house and an appended house. The entrance to the main house lies at the end of a slightly elevated stone path. The appended house is built on a ground whose left side is a bit higher. The main house is made up of four bedrooms, one living room, and one study. The bedrooms are large and high in space. The high-ceilinged living room has a fireplace. To one side of it is a concealed courtyard. The study is on the second floor, where in the roof of the bedroom’s bathroom there is an oval skylight that allows you to enjoy bathing under the starlight.

In the appended house are a dining room and a kitchen. From the dining room, you can see the Great Wall in the arms of mountains. The dining room has two large glass French windows on two sides and a small outdoor balcony where you may watch beautiful sunsets over your dinner.

Suitable activities: Private gatherings, small meetings, fashion events, open-air barbeques on the flat roof.

Kay Ngee Tan (Singapore)

Enquiries & Reservations

86-10-81181888  400-815-9888

Commune by the Great Wall

The Great Wall Exit No.53 at

Shuiguan G6 Jingzang Highway,