Situated in Laoshan Forest to the west of central Nanjing city, China International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) began in 2003 to bring twenty-four renowned international & domestic architects together onto one site. CIPEA consist of four public buildings and twenty small houses, in accordance with the brief, the houses should have at least five bedrooms, public spaces and hospitality accommodations on 500 square meters.

For his contribution, Zhang Lei of AZL Architects designed a four-storey house with layered concrete walls, intended to resemble the curling forms of traditional Chinese scrolls. Each opening provides a wide aperture, framing views of the surrounding woodland from balconies that wrap the perimeter.

Walls appear to be peeling back from the facade of this house by Chinese office AZL Architects, one of 24 architect-designed buildings underway in a forest near Nanjing, China. The house forms part of the Chinese International Practical Exhibition of Architecture (CIPEA) programme, which was first conceived back in 2003 as a showcase of modern architecture featuring 11 buildings by Chinese studios and 13 more by architects from abroad. A total of 20 houses are planned for the site in Laoshan National Forest Park, as well as an art museum by Steven Holl, a conference centre by Arata Isozaki, a hotel by Liu Jiakun and a leisure centre by the late Ettore Sottsass.

“The concept of Blockhouse is almost the living attitude of many Chinese; a minimal opening to the surrounding landscape is the only perforation of the richness inside the house,” say the architects.

Location: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Architect in Charge: Zhang Lei
Project Team: Zhang Lei, Jeffrey Cheng, Wang Wang, Wang Yi
Collaborator: Architectural Design & planning Institute, NJU
Project Area: 500 sqm
Project year: 2008-2012

via Dezeen