The Lotus Villa is a custom-faceted concrete shell structure nestled into a sloping hillside with a strong connection to Jinhai Lake, Beijing, China. The dynamic form cantilevers out over the water’s edge, embracing the lake. The position of the residence on the site reduces the impact of the three-story home on the landscape. The placement, along with the form and massing, optimizes views, while simultaneously maintaining privacy from the street and neighbors. The architecture represents a 21st-century version of the siheyuan, traditional Chinese courtyard housing, using innovative construction techniques and digital design. The 21st-century siheyuan consists of a series of outdoor rooms that extends the living space of the 11,000-square-foot residence. The courtyards are set along the north-south axis. Water is the connective tissue that ties the outdoor spaces back to the lake. Each courtyard has its own distinct characteristics defined by a unique water element. The entrance court features a serene koi pond and garden, serving as a place for contemplation. The central atrium gallery has a vibrant water fountain that is experienced from everywhere in the house. The lakeside terrace contains a long linear reflecting pool extending into the lake. Finally, the lower-level terrace is a continuation of the interior space and surrounds the 50-foot-long pool that continues out over the water’s edge. 


Jinhai Lake, Beijing, China


Single Family Residence


10,000 sq ft


In Development


AIA Next LA Award

Exhibited, MOCA Los Angeles

The central atrium is the heart of the home. Like the lotus, the structural core rises from the land, symbolically representing an inward focus while at the same time providing an outward splendor. The core serves as the internal structural system and the main circulation for the house. Diffused light filters through the structural filigree illuminating all levels of the residence. The branching structure is a networked grid, and the structural strands at the lower levels gradually become the surface of the building envelope.  

© Tighe Architecture 2021

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