Ordos100 – Twice House
Inner Mongolia, China
2008
Residence

Client: Ordos Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Co.Ltd
Curator: Ai Wei Wei, Fake Design
Architects' Selection: Herzog & De Meuron
Area: 1000 sqm
Team: Carmit Harnik Saar, Keren Avni, Yonatan Cohen, Ariel Noyman,
Charlotte Mottahedeh, Anna Smorodinsky

Twice House responds to the demand for an oversized floor area of 1,000 sq.m. and to the inherent duplicity of the given program, by splitting itself into two different houses and by compressing itself to a minimal footprint of 10% of the total lot area.
In a (future) neighbourhood of architectural collectibles, Twice House appears as a monolith figure on a flattened ground. Inside, however, it is genuinely twofold: below-grade desert shelter and a vertical urban villa; light summer retreat and a dense winter refuge; flowing plan libre and a folded Raumplan; formal guest house and a cosy domicile.
Indeed, Twice House is designed as a complete both/and scheme, but could well function as a partial either/or house. The owner may hence temporarily turn off half the house, allowing autonomous operation of its counterpart.

The Twice House survivalist attitude extends from the structuralist 50/50 split to a tectonic binary system of walls. This system wraps the vertical house and roofs the horizontal house with a meter deep buffer space that tempers the inner climate, diffuses natural light, controls the interior and exterior views and designates vertical circulation at the fringe.
The outer shell is poured concrete surface with hollow openings. The inner walls are concrete blocks - or alternatively local grey bricks - with glazed windows of different sizes. Each elevation of the house manifests a distinctive overlay of walls according to the varying natural site conditions as well as to the various spatial requirements.