Home LifestyleGlobal Design Pure Spaces: A Countryside Home in Beijing Inspired by the Heart Sutra and Enlivened With a Minimalist Twist

Pure Spaces: A Countryside Home in Beijing Inspired by the Heart Sutra and Enlivened With a Minimalist Twist

by creativehomex

This contemporary home, located in Haidian District, Beijing, where the famous Jingxi Rice and Qianlong Imperial Fields were once highly revered, takes inspiration from Buddhist philosophy. Named Guan Zi Zai (Sanskrit: avalokitêśvara, “looking on”) from Heart Sutra, the project intends to combine life experience and speculative insight based on the truth-seeking for the past, nature, and the human mind.

Wang Daquan, the designer of Tanzo Space Design was commissioned to complete the landscape and interior design for the two-story house. This red brick building constructed by local workers are created somewhat similar to the houses in the village, but with a distinct personality that breathes life into its sleek spaces.

“The owner has an open attitude towards the interior design, which allows the complete presentation of Guan Zi Zai,” the designer says. “Without any reference – because of the maximized freedom, we proposed an intervening method without any presupposing purpose, which takes the physical environment and the owner’s habits as the fundamental law and logic. Although slower, this process guarantees the right direction, which has been proven by fact.”

To configure the air-conditioning pipeline and ventilation, the door head fixed plates form a double-sided slope, which unexpectedly looks like a small tower from a distance – something that the owner likes due to its implied meaning of promoting to a higher position. What’s more, the black half-enclosed wall gives entering the door meaning of approaching and retreating.

According to the designer, this kind of flexible treatment runs through the entire design process. “Only when one is in it can one realise that the village is far from static. For example, when I was still immersed in the landscape formed by the old roof ridges of the front and rear houses, the front house had already been demolished and become a two-story building with stainless steel railings. In the meantime, the narrow and sloping drainage gap between the two buildings required further adjustment of the interior structure,” Da Quan says.

A pavilion-like area was inserted in the centre of the house, opening up the tense artificial interior space into the environment. A small body of water was embedded in the sinking area enclosed by cement, among which the children often jump back and forth between the pools in the courtyard.

Perched around this small area shaped like a key, there are hundreds of millions of stars up in the sky and romantic moonlight nearby. The literati-style romance blends with the countryside, opening a life in a simple and lovely way. Taking advantage of the situation makes the emphasis relaxed, and Guan Zi Zai comes into being.

Wang Daquan likes designs that “live in self-awareness”. All interior furniture comes from domestic design brands, which are harmonious when put together because of their prior commonality; utensils of the Qing and Ming Dynasty return to daily life; the precious cliff stone-carved inscriptions exist with light and the times; the delicate artwork cut by the florist Wan Hong reveals a feeling of Song Dynasty at the end of the corridor; on the bay window couch facing the courtyard pool, a beam-lifting teapot sits silently; the abandoned Nu Er Hong rice wine jar has been transformed to add endless fun to courtyard nights.

“I prefer to pay attention to the spatial characteristics and experience of a place. Using the harmony of space, light, and sound to impress people, without doing it deliberately, can make things have a human nature beyond imagination,” the designer adds.


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