Dezeen Magazine

(X) for Ordos 100 by Multiplicities

New York architects Multiplicities have designed a house for Inner Mongolia, China 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 Weiwei.  See more Dezeen stories about Ordos 100 projects here and here.


The house has an oval-shaped plan and curved exterior walls constructed from black brick.  The interior spaces are designed around a central void made from white quartz.


Here's some more information from Multiplicities:



white lung + black skin = ( ) + X = (X)

The “( )” is imploded by the “X” that expands and contracts from within, creating a dramatic void and multiple terraces at different levels from which to view the surrounding river landscape.

The “( )” is made of black brick while the “X” is made of white quartz white plaster. Both elements change their density by allowing different types of screen to filter the sun, water, light and air inside the inhabitable spaces.


Above: section AA

Situated at parcel number 24, the (X) house’s life revolves around a series of intersecting patios that inhale/exhale everything it needs and wants at different times closing tired cycles and opening new ones.


Above: section BB

The white lung takes and bounces light and air inside the house to keep the black skin healthy. The black skin absorbs heat and gives protection and warmth to the lung as well as varied activities, providing different programmatic thicknesses creating buffer zones wherever it is necessary.


Above: section CC

The organizational principles of the house start with the understanding of the modular brick system and its multiple possible permutations and material properties. Taking the brick as a unit that can weave an infinite matrix of conditions with variations on density, texture, thickness, we are interested in “designing the conditions as opposed to conditioning the design”. By establishing a matrix of permutable conditions, we create a system that can gradually change its properties throughout the building and adapt to its final ideal configuration giving flexibility to the built object.


Above: axonometric

Entering the villa through one of the “X’s” funnels, residents and visitors encounter the void that works as an atrium throughout the house. The first patio is the main access to the small living room that overlooks both voids.  The second patio is directly linked to the pool and the sauna which at times can overflow inundating the patio in a seasonal basis.  We think that this will perform as a huge humidifier during dry seasons. The voids “infect” the house with terraces on all levels providing different gardens and atmospheres making possible a vast range of living conditions.


Above: ground floor


Above: first floor


Above: second floor


Above: roof plan

Name of project:  (X) for ORDOS 100
Design:  *multiplicities
Project Team:  Daniel Holguin, Issei Suma, Perla Pequeño, Joanna Park Sohn, Christopher Chan, Nicole Rodríguez, Masayuki Sono

Engineers: OVE ARUP ny

Methus Srisuchart + Tatchapon Lertwirojkul
Jee Won Kim Architect
ID engineers

More Dezeen stories about Ordos 100:



Luca Selva Architects


Estudio Barozzi Veiga