In this project, ten chosen Asian architects were commissioned to design ten residences each, creating a hundred residences all together in a forest adjacent to the Great Wall of China, an environmentally mutual commune.
Our basic notion of this project was to leave the original geographical features intact and to utilize the locally produced materials as much as possible.
The idea of leaving the land intact is a common consent with the planning ideology of the Great Wall.
All the 20th century houses in the suburbs had been built on flattened land. Planning and locating architectural objects like that seems to be a common way.
We felt however such a method not to be suitable for the beautiful land of China with an intricate undulation. For our concept, it was hence the best solution to build a wall without interfering with the original geographical feature, but instead enhancing it.
Therefore, the plan was to design the wall as a filter formed with bamboo.
There are several reasons we chose bamboo as the principal material. First of all, we thought charm in the material’s weakness. The Great Wall built with solid stone and brick had been a device to sever the world of civilization and savage, while the bamboo filter would on the other hand allow light and wind to pass through.
Also, the bamboo filter could work as a connection between the worlds.
Historically been brought to Japan from China, the bamboo is a symbol of cultural interchange between those two countries.
We intended this building to be a similar symbol of Cultural interchange.
Name of Complex: Commune by the Great Wall Hotel
Main Program: hotel (I), private residences (II)
Location: The Great Wall at Shui Guan, Bada Ling Highway, Beijing, 102102 China
Client and Developer: SOHO China Ltd., China
Collaborators: ARUP China, Rocco Landscape Design
Architects: Kengo Kuma & Associates
Phase I: Budi Pradono, Teppei Ishibashi (model house – hotel)
Phase II: Shigeyoshi Sugai, Katinka Temme (7 houses)
Phase I: December 2000 – April 2001, completed September 2002
Phase II September 2002 – under construction October 2003