The age-defining rings of a tree stump provided the starting point for this small round house planned by Penda for a wood-carving artist in Beijing.
Named House O, in reference to its circular shape, the house is designed to provide the client with both a home and a workspace, tailored precisely to suit his day-to-day routine.The daily routine of the artist is, in a very direct way, translated into the program of the house, which expresses its outer appearance as well. The two-storey building will feature a central courtyard, creating a doughnut-shaped plan that arches upwards along one edge.
The lowest level of the building will be submerged underground. A staircase wrapping the courtyard will connect the two storeys, which trace a route through the occupant's daily activities. "The circulation and the program is arranged along a spiral, leading from a basement with a breakfast area to the highest level, which contains a bedroom," said Precht.The arched edge will help to bring natural light down into the basement, and also raises the bedroom up half a storey above the ground-floor living room.
The lifted part faces toward the south and inhabits the master bedroom, offering a great view over the yard. The house will be located on a newly defined plot in the garden of an existing property. Exterior walls will be glazed, screened behind wooden louvres that protect the interior from direct sunlight.A hedge is also proposed around the perimeter of the building, offering an extra degree of privacy.