Twenty architects from around the world were invited to each design a five-room vacation house on the shore of the Fo Sho Lake in Nanjing, China. Our team proposed a “House of Drapes” by the lake. Emulating a traditional dyehouse with hanging fabrics, the swaying draperies obscure the frame of the building, creating indefinite forms that are constantly changing as the wind blows.
The estate is not fully visible at first glance when approached. The house slowly reveals itself as the visitor strolls along a winding path, passing a swing, a rusted animal cage, a juniper-burning stove to finally catch glimpses of the building through the trees. A view of the lake unfolds at the end of the path as the visitor reaches the lakefront house. At the ground floor entrance, five box-shaped wooden structures are suspended in the air like tree houses, held by a steel frame. Maroon drapes are hung on the sides of the boxes. Stairs that are partially visible from the exterior connect these wooden compartments independently. The elongated pool on the ground, reflecting the house, enhances the connection between the structure and the lake, which serves as the axis of this linear structure. The kitchen, dining, and living spaces are hidden from view, in the slopes of the hill that functions as the basement of the building.