Gimme Shelter by Rojkind Arquitectos
for Ordos 100



Mexican practice Rojkind Arquitectos have designed a house for Inner Mongolia, China, based on traditional cave dwellings.


Called Gimme Shelter, the residence is submerged in the ground to provide shelter from the harsh climate.


Rojkind Arquitectos designed the villa as part of the Ordos 100 project.


The architects are one of 100 firms selected by architects Herzog & de Meuron who have each designed a private residence for the project, which is masterplanned by the artist Ai Wei Wei.


See other Ordos 100 projects in our previous stories:

Ordos Hilton Hotel by VMX Architects
(X) for Ordos 100 by Multiplicities
Inside Out - Outside In by Rocker-Lange Architects
Villa N°14 by Dellekamp Arquitectos
Ordos 100 villa by Luca Selva Architects
Ordos villa by Estudio Barozzi Veiga


More by Rojkind Arquitectos on Dezeen:

Nestlé Application Group Querétaro
New Tamayo Museum by Rojkind Arquitectos and BIG

Nestlé Chocolate Museum


Images by Glessner Group.

Here's some more information from Michel Rojkind:


Traditional cave dwellings in China, often referred as Yaodong, have been passed down from generations as they have proven to be superior in harsh environments particular to Inner Mongolia. Their unique typology has protected generations from the harsh tundra climate and the burning summers by providing thermal performance superior to those that reside on the surface.


Likewise, local fauna has evolved to reside below the surface to survive, such as the Mongolian toad, or as Mongolians refer it, guroot, which is known to hibernate through the winter in 1-2 meter deep holes. Inner Mongolia has had a long tradition of tribesmen dependant on nomadic lifestyles moving their herds in search for better grasslands and campsites.


Even today, a large percentage of Mongolians still subside in the steppes and follow a nomadic lifestyle. Today we find ourselves in a world of increased mobility in which transportation networks permit endless possibilities of travel for work, living, and pleasure we remain connected. In this new reality of mobile populations, merchandise, and information, a new breed of nomads arises, dependent on the environments they travel much like the traditional nomads.


Gimme Shelter moves away from the temporality of nomadism but maintains the underlying principal of nomadic dwellings; which is to shelter from detrimental climatic conditions. The Villa responds not only to site specificity but attempts to provide a unique shelter for the modern nomad. Cues have been abstracted from sand-dune morphology and generation into the formal expression of the villa. Gimme Shelter submerges itself into the landscape, providing warmth through the winter and cool air during the summer.


The Villa not only protects its inhabitants from harsh climatic conditions, but provides a unique experience for dynamic-programmatic circulation between private, public, and service spaces. Interstitial space serves as circulation for inhabitants and provides unique opportunities for gardens filled with native flora. Furthermore, the notion of void and solid has been understood as a formal distribution of private and public space.


As you enter the villa through the hard protective shell on the northern face, you find yourself on the second floor. Through the entrance hall, you slowly uncover the intricate play of the inner program volumes. On the west side of the Villa you find all services and support and program progressively turns into levels of privacy towards the east, ending with the master room on the extreme east. Your transition through the inner volumes is bathed with light that shines through the carefully perforated southern wall.


Apertures progressively increase towards the interior gardens in which the perforations become denser and allow for cross winds to move through the villa evidently cooling the house during the summer days. As you move yourself into the third and fourth floors the inner workings of the villa unravel before your eyes. The play of levels, which are connected by a series of bridges, enriches your experience, as every space is unique in character and shape.


Ceilings become terraces for other semi-private activities; walls and ceilings begin to shift in different directions, the play of outside and inside space gets blurred as the inner gardens separate program, suddenly an understanding of the forces that shaped this villa becomes evident.


PROJECT_ Ordos 100
LOCATION_ Ordos, Mongolia
CLIENT_ Prefer to remain anonimous


ARCHITECTURAL PROJECT_ Rojkind Arquitectos [Michel Rojkind]
PROJECT TEAM_ Agustín Pereyra ,Juan Carlos Vidals (3D massing) Alejandro Biguria, Moritz Melchert, Mónica Orozco, Phillip Jung, José Moreno, Laura Rodriguez , Roberto Gil Will, Tere Levy, Alan Rahmane. RENDERING_ German Glessner VISUAL ART_ Guido Torres
INTERIOR DESIGN_ Rojkind Arquitectos
LANDSCAPE_ Rojkind Arquitectos

Posted on Monday July 27th 2009 at 11:25 am by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • Michael, you are cool! Like this.

  • Somehow the detail of teh window doesn’t correspond with the 3D model of the facade though. Gues it did not matter to the big H&M factory guys…

  • kolohe

    pretty interesting design.
    monolithic, primitive, ephemeral.
    i like the lyrical renderings too (and appreciate the details).

  • Rich

    When designers will take responsibility of their own rendering images, at least??
    Show some respect to local context?? How a buddhist monk will walk around in the Mongolian resort town, filled with people who came to the desert because of tourism is available.

  • Joaquin

    @ Kolohe:
    “monolithic, primitive, ephemeral.” I like your description. Yes, Rojkind has redefined the “cool” without having to adopt rhino/maya savvy. “Timeless,” I’d say.

  • You can count me in. I’m ready to brave the wilderness of Mongolia to bring back some beautiful photographic images if it ever gets built.

  • sc hu yl er

    These renderings actually just make me very suspicious. We’ll see how the building works in an actual site…

  • Jacob

    All I have to say is….tigers.

  • I’m in awe of the tigers lolling about in the front yard.

    I’d go live there, if only to feel like I wake up daily and walk on to the set of the fabulous sci-fi movie that is my life…

  • tanya telford – T

    i dont think the reality of this building would be that sci-fi, im imagining local stone etc would be used. The building might seem a little daunting but then im sure that the landscape surrounding is even more so. I especially like the idea of space they have allowed for gardens,

  • Ivan

    Did authors asked anybody what the Mogolian climate is? If did they would not provide most of the fasade surface for freezing nothern wind with blasts of sand