Inside Out – Outside In by Rocker-Lange Architects



Boston- and Hong Kong-based Rocker-Lange Architects have designed a villa called Inside Out - Outside In for the Ordos 100 project in Inner Mongolia, China.


The house is one of 100 private residences, all designed by different architects selected by architects Herzog & de Meuron for the Ordos 100 project, which is master planned by artist Ai Wei Wei.


"Especially in the widely varying Mongolian climate, seasonal usages of living areas may change dramatically between the cold winters and warm summers," say Rocker-Lange


"By creating an architecture which is interwoven with its surroundings, we allow the climate to work with the inhabitants, rather than against them."


The following text is from Rocker-Lange:


Rocker-lange architects are releasing their design of a 1000 square meter Villa in Ordos Inner Mongolia, P.R. China.

The project called "Inside Out|Outside In" is part of the Ordos 100 project and discusses the relationship and fusion of interior and exterior space. Rocker – Lange calls for an architecture of milieu – that an architecture of the circumstances and conditions by which it is surrounded.


An “Architecture of Milieu” no longer strictly distinguishes between its inside and outside – it rather considers itself as always at once on multiple scales inside and outside, as architecture and environment.


Consequently architecture and its environment are thought of not only as “inside” and “outside” of one another, but as zones of possible relationships, in which “inside” and “outside” vary and shift to accommodate changing seasons and usage patterns.


The “Architecture of Milieu” is an architecture of situation rather than site: an indefinitely expandable and differentiable ribbon serves as the continuous organizational strategy, inscribing zones of different degrees of interior and exterior space vanishing the separation between them.


rocker-lange architects where invited to take part in the Ordos 100 project, an urban development of 100 unique villas in the cultural district of the city of Ordos in Inner Mongolia, China. The project was initiated by the Client, Jiang Yuan Water Engineering Ltd, the curator FAKE Design, Ai Wei Wei studio, Beijing and architects Herzog & de Meuron, Basel.


While FAKE Design, Ai Wei Wei studio developed the masterplan for the 100 parcels of land, Herzog & de Meuron selected 100 young architects from 27 countries around the globe. The project started in early April of 2008 with an architects’ symposium in Ordos. First villas are expected to be finished in late 2009.







More stories about Ordos 100 on Dezeen:



Ordos 100 villa by Luca Selva Architects


Ordos villa by Estudio Barozzi Veiga

Posted on Friday November 28th 2008 at 4:08 pm by Matylda Krzykowski. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • cg

    with rocker as my studio critic this term it is interesting how much her preferences do/don’t translate in her teaching style.

  • Rockstar


  • betuwill

    wow…honestly what a great project,…i wanna call it slasher!!..,..moebius / signalbox / porschemuseum,. and just as a side comment: what a pitty the way the architects want to sell this in their images,….the zaha 12 degree camaera angle is only allowed for max 2nd year architecture students to save their asses before finals,…not professionals please,….

  • Ajua

    Zaha-Signal box…?

  • Vico

    get it? get it? interwoven. Oh so the floorplan has to be interwoven? And the facades too? I like me some useless triangular courtyards.

    This project is appallingly faddish. A cross between a military surveillance bunker and a precision drill-bit showroom. There goes the Ordos neighbourhood.

  • gaque

    I’m with betuwill on this one…why the camera angle? I think there are some interesting spaces in this house, judging from the plans, but the presentation overall doesn’t seem to play to those strengths. The diagrams are OK, but maybe oversimplified (if an oversimplified diagram is possible–I suppose that’s the point).

    For such a 3d concept (the strip that weaves around itself), the sections looks awfully conventional. I would’ve drawn the sections through different areas.

    The renderings are a little object-oriented…I mean, getting nice shots from the exterior exclusively. I think it would be cool to see how those moire window slats appear from the interior rooms. Some people in the perspectives would also help a lot.

    And what the hell am I going to do on the roof garden? It’s a barren concrete yard…not fun in the slightest. With all this said, I think they have some other interesting projects on their website.

  • Tyler

    It reminds me a lot of Villa Savoy!

  • fly

    Pardon me, but I need some enlightenment. Zaha 12 degree camera angle?

    Well, about this project, I quite like the direction of the interwoven concept development. However it’s a tad cliche and it seems rather under-developed for me. For example, some of the interior spaces are odd. The smaller block looks quite detached from the rest of the house and I’m not very sure about this, but the tiny plan seems to be telling me that you could have heading towards some dead ends there. “Interwoven” merely on plan, yet no “Interwoven” in circulation?

    But hey, nice renderings.

  • Bruno

    useless triagular courtyards? i dont see them in the plans.
    Once more what I see is this super white shapes + glass. A project called “Inside Out|Outside In”, wich all diagrams shows inside parameters, and absolutelly no relation with the outside enviroment. A 2 material building on Inner Mongolia, China…

  • Mad Scientist

    The strategy of making strange angles to make a project more interesting is not interesting. the stripe of water between two stairs neither. poor.

  • wxcr7

    betuwill – I’m not so sure about the zaha-esque camera angles. I think the building is actually skewed like that. Check out the sections (and even the plans).

    And I’m thinking those triangular courtyards (pretty easy to find on the plans) are a lot more like landscaped light wells then programed spaces. Which, in my opinion is a rather nice response to what I have seen of the climate and landscape surrounding the project.

    Overall, I’m kinda liking it.

  • Anthony

    From what has been presented of the Ordos 100 projects so far on Dezeen, many of the proposals do not seem to address the fact that the allocated house ‘plots’ are within a fairly (sub)urban site plan. This is often reinforced by the way that the projects are presented (i.e. in open space), and perhaps therefore suggests that this factor was not duly considered in the individual designs. Although this project is by no means the biggest culprit, there are some issues with the extent of the ground floor glazing, half of which looks onto a fence / wall.

    I can understand the difficulty in addressing the unknown of what will be proposed next door, and obviously this comes with the territory considering the masterplanning concept – 100 houses x 100 architects, but it does not change the fact that you know in advance that you will have neighbors and that this should perhaps be considered in the designs.

    On the positive side, I am sure that the contrasting approaches will result in a very interesting neighborhood to live in. Do we have any details about what the brief requirements were?

  • I find it important to remember that these architects are working under one of the most opulent of contexts. They have been personally flown to the middle of nowhere, wined and dined at the nicest hotel in Mongolia, introduced to their client (who happens to be one of the richest billionaires in China) and given an almost unlimited budged.

    On their own, the projects that I have seen from ORDOS have interesting qualities , but because of the circumstance, it is fitting that some projects don’t focus on contextual relationships. After one site visit the architects are given a little over 100 days to complete the design of their residence.

    It seems that some of the designers are split between making design decisions along the need to impress, with dynamic or conceptual form making, and the pressures that normally afflict architects when dealing with average clients.

    I do find it interesting to watch what is happening, and to watch how different architects try to respond to this opportunity. Some it seems, weren’t sure how serious to take the project, and some have presented moderately interesting proposals within the 100 day time restraint.

  • charlotte

    to Tyler:
    I had the exact same thing. This totally reminds me of villa Savoye!

  • vortekxt

    Kangnar: “wined and dined at the nicest hotel in Mongolia”? I’m pretty sure they stayed at the Holiday Inn (there are pics of the group there online); and “given an almost unlimited budget”? I believe not only was the budget not unlimited, but it was relatively modest in fact…

  • Benan Al-najjar

    This project is not quit beautiful, but highly interesting. What special about this building is creating an architecture which is interwoven with its surroundings. As we now, the architecture along among the visual arts has to deal with outside and inside although it shares with literature this privilege of reflecting the basic dichotomy of the mind. By no means does the conception of the interior require an inversion of ordinary space experience….

  • i think there is a sense of continuity in the concept,the shape of the plan is continuous and make sense.Moreover ,the sharp edges are solved in the plans very well..Inside and outside spaces are Perfectly incorporated and the use of glass is good in such a way lighting is exploited from all the directions.Its really a vey interesting project.

  • thinktank

    we are now thinking, great critiques fellow architecturers, i'm glad not all is hopeless.

  • 1plus2minus3

    The exterior design rocks on many levels, for me however the interior seems to have been a mental burden for the designers, totally lacking of any warmth, this is a home right? Where is the love? cheers!