Father’s House

MADA s.p.a.m.

Project designer: Qingyun Ma.
Location: Lantian, Xian, China.
Design & construction period: 1992-October 2003.
Floor: area 200 sq. meters.
Gross floor area: 385 sq. meters.


This is a house that Qingyun Ma designed and built for his father on his homeland.

Fathers-from the pool

Jade Valley and Qingling Mountain Range are its backdrop which defines the whole territory with a vastly changing landscape, from steep mountain to mild slope and to river valley and evens out into an infinitely expansive plateau called Middle Plateau. Father’s House rests in the ambiguous position between the river (and smoothed stones) and the mountains (and coarse stones). Over time, the river pulls rock out of layers of mountain, offering an abundant source of building material.


The relation between water and stone is so accurate that the size of stone correlates precisely to its color and level of perturbation by the passing water. Reflecting the richness in stone variety, the house panels oscillate between concentrations of dark and light hues, rough and smooth textures. To maximize the stone application both in quantity and local construction methodology is the first and foremost principle of the design. To simplify and homogenize the construction is to minimize the non-local construction technique and mobilization.


Therefore, use of the alien (concrete) remains a minimal and distinct element whereas use of the local (stone and wood) is maximized. The stone is treated differently depending on where it occurs within the didactic realm of the concrete frame. This collision of rough, organic materials with highly regulated and spare form gives the house an ephemeral quality encased in distinctly modern formalism.




Extract from coming-soon
Total China
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