Villa Jian
by CU Office

| 6 comments
Villa Jian by CU Office

Beijing architects CU Office have completed a contemporary granite office building that uses a traditional local measuring system in a rapidly developing agricultural city in eastern China.

Villa Jian by CU Office

The barn-like building has smoothly chamfered edges and is named Villa Jian, after a local term for an average-sized room or space: the architects were asked to provide eleven of them inside the two-storey structure.

Villa Jian by CU Office

A staircase the width of the building connects the ground floor with the storey above, providing informal seating during events held in the building's exhibition spaces.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Another project we've recently featured from a fast-developing Chinese town is an exhibition centre on the beach of a former fishing village.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Photography is by Brando Posocco.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Here's some more text from CU Office:


The concept of Villa Jian came from the local architecture word called “Jian”. In the local architecture culture, there was one commonly used for building space base unit that is "Jian", one "Jian" represented a width of about 3.3 m to 3.6 m of spatial scale.

Villa Jian by CU Office

This word "Jian” not only represented a space base unit, but also strongly linked with the local traditional form of construction.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Before going further to the development of the design, the client‘s requirement was to build 11 “Jian”. Thus, there was a given condition of designing a big house with a double-slope roof covering 11 “jian”.

Villa Jian by CU Office

According to the needs of the client, the building consisted of main two basic functions: office space and exhibition space, both of the functions were limited to a semi-open private property.

Villa Jian by CU Office

The starting point was how to combine the semi-open exhibition space with a semi-closed office space under a single roof.

Villa Jian by CU Office

The idea was finally to divide both the exhibition and the office into two parts: public exhibition and private exhibition, public office and private office.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Public exhibition and office space were placed in the first floor, and the private exhibition and private office were placed in the second floor.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Therefore, the entrance was designed to be a semi-open exhibition space, while the other side on the first floor was proposed to be the staff offices.

Villa Jian by CU Office

On the second floor, just opposite to the first floor, above the entrance of the first floor were a private parlor and a private office, and the other part was a private exhibition hall.

Villa Jian by CU Office

The entire function spaces have become an X-form in the section; the center position of the X has become the hub of linking two functions and two stories.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Here wide stair steps were designed for seating as well where the semi-open exhibition space and the semi-closed office space have dramatically been intersected together.

Villa Jian by CU Office

This stair hall, as a mixed space, had not only a circulation function but also a dual function for the exhibition performances and the meeting space. Thus, a mixed space system linking different regular functions was the core concept of the building.

Villa Jian by CU Office

Project Description: Private Office
Project Location: Yantai, Guangdong province, China

Villa Jian by CU Office

Client: Private
Site area: 10,000 m2

Villa Jian by CU Office

Building area: 1000m2
Design: 2011

Villa Jian by CU Office

Completion: 2012
Chief designer: Che Fei, Zhang Xuefeng
Design team: Zhao Chao, Li Huihui, Zhang Xin, Cui Jingyi, Zeng Yilan, Chang Yue

  • cuneese

    Villa? Seriously?

  • miguel

    Architecture with regional connection? Architecture of Place?

    The building is nice, but it seems that has been no thinking about the place, the connection to the site at all.

    A spaceship that landed. Good Architecture is more than just the building.

    • http://twitter.com/guoxin @guoxin

      If you really know what "rapidly developing agricultural city in eastern China" means, you'll know that contex is not that important, because everything you'll see in the context might be gone next month.

  • Chris

    I must say, China has a long way to go before it's doing more than just poorly replicating the designs of western nations. There's very few Architects that can pull off the pitched-roof design; NORD Architecture being probably the best, and this firm isn't one of them.

  • http://uptodayarch.blogspot.com up_today_arch

    Impressive introvert building! Good work!

  • http://dailygrail.com/ Red Pill Junkie

    The exterior looks depressing, and it need not be.