Wonder Architects Studio redesigned a traditional villa in Xicheng District, Beijing. The project features an unconventional layout, minimalist arrangements and a creative indoor-outdoor interplay.

“Beijing is a city that lacks architectural variety,” the architects said. “From modern apartment buildings to traditional villas, architects decorate this huge void city with limited building types. As a result, people living in Beijing developed numerous methods to expand their spatial experience by constructing gardens in their courtyards, building forts in vacant spaces and using wood panels to separate spaces.”

This villa is a manifest against “void” architecture. The designers aimed to create a “garden within gardens” and cross the limits of the typical Beijing house layout.

New materials adjoin the traditional frame of the house defined by wood and brick. Floor-to-ceiling glass additions open up the interiors to the valley.

“After the reconstruction of each space, we recombined the functional areas to form a new set of spatial narrative experiences,” the architects added. “We placed groups of rocks all over the courtyard, creating coincidental collisions between architecture and nature.” Landscape design by Li Ding; photography courtesy of Haiting Sun and Qipeng Zhu.