Located in the “Ten Crossing” scenic area in Fangshan, Beijing, the project finds itself in one of the most magnificent Karst landscapes in northern China. The site as we found it, was an old farmyard ein the middle of the mountain. In this project, confronting with the unconquerable nature as well as individual’s need for shelter, we tried to transform the outside world into part of body’s “digging”.  This is our imagination of living on mountains in northern China.

▼近景鸟瞰,closer aerial view ©王子凌


Visages, Villages


▼群山中的借山院,project in the mountains ©王子凌

▼建筑鸟瞰,aerial view of the building ©王子凌

Mountains in Shidu take quite particular forms: straight lines, clear edges, as if have been chopped from the top, approaching the eye intensely. Driving along Juma River, human body can almost feel the cutting from those magnificent slates. However, the specular landscape here is sculpted not only by geological movement but also by human activity. Rich village activities can be found along Juma River. Historically, the “Ten Crossing” area boasts an abundant stone production. Traces of stone construction can still be found in local villages.

▼区位分析,location analysis ©方书君工作室


The lot was blasted, excavated and flattened out of the mountain. Its former inhabitants enveloped it with a tall robust stone wall, inside which sat three separate farm houses. The principal house struck us as most sturdy and impressive, built from raw stones acquired from the mountain, while the two side houses constructed cost-effectively out of red bricks. Together, they close on a courtyard in the middle: an architectural layout typical to northern China. The objective is two-fold: to internalize natural landscape, and to be a part of landscape.

▼改造前的场地,site before renovation ©方书君工作室



Pushing Out the Limits


Standing in the courtyard, we felt intensely drawn toward the mountains, despite that they were truncated by the stone wall. The core of the design, then, was to lower and push out the outer wall, generating a central space that opens toward the valley, with a momentum directed at the mountains. Its outward motion makes its tip appear afloat, as if hovering directly over the valley.

▼改造前的平面和院墙,plan and courtyard before renovation ©方书君工作室

▼院墙改造策略,renovation strategy of the courtyard wall ©方书君工作室


The new wall takes on a more abstract materiality, concrete, which speaks to the directionality of the courtyard. The concrete then extends inward to form a loop of platform, acting as a light base for the heavy houses, a contrast that is somewhat anti-instinctive to the eyes.

▼院落边界与村道的错动,the boundary of the courtyard and the village path ©王子凌

▼推出后的外墙与远处山谷,extruded wall and the valley in the distance ©王子凌

▼降低并推出后的外院墙形成一个眺望台,observation space created by the extruded and lowered courtyard wall ©王子凌


Re-enhancing the Old


When confronted with rebirth projects, we refuse to juxtapose the old with the new, treating the old as a background. We enable the new to interact with the old structure, enhancing and enriching it.

▼平面改造过程和外墙建造轴侧,renovation process and construction of the external wall ©方书君工作室


We intend to obscure the hierarchy among the three houses. Raising the height of south wing and “dressing” the brick houses with a layer of raw stone facade, we enrich and enhance the old, giving importance to the otherwise weaker structures and bringing the three houses to a more balanced and united whole.  Power of the solid volume is further enhanced by recessed openings. The stone dressing also brought more depth and fortitude upon the facade openings, calling out their “facial” quality. All the openings are simply adjustment or scaling of the original ones, yet provide brand new view.

▼改造后的北厢房,north wing after renovation ©王子凌

north wing and the main house after renovation ©王子凌

south wing and the main house after renovation ©王子凌


Weaving and Excavating

在建筑的周围,扩展、生长出五个尺度不一、前后错动的院落,连同新生长的建筑体量,创造出边界的错动,并与山体和村道交错咬合,犹如一块 “编织物”,将自己织入了地形中。

Now, the three robust structures are seeking a way to anchor themselves into the landscape. We create five “outdoor rooms”, five differently shaped and sized courtyards that grow around the houses. They have closures like that of architectural rooms, but are exposed in natural climate. Together with newly built volumes, they form an undulating boundary, which “weaves” the entire complex into the landscape.

▼入口庭院,entrance courtyard ©王子凌

▼从标准客房门厅处看向主庭院与远山,view to the main courtyard and distanced mountains from the vestibule ©王子凌

▼主庭院,main courtyard ©王子凌

a corner of the main courtyard ©王子凌

▼背靠后山的后院,back yard adjacent to the back mountains ©丁思民

▼后院的楼梯连接屋顶露台,staircase at the back yard connected to the roof terrace ©王子凌

▼露台与远山,terrace and the mountains ©王子凌

▼屋顶露台与地面的主庭院,roof terrace and the main courtyard below ©王子凌


Courtyards and rooms are more like a series of excavation instead of places of different functions. Unlike typical hotels, the spaces are organized so that everything feels similarly scaled and non-hierarchical. The “cluster of rooms” offers more possibilities of inner circulation, which introduce an aspect of inward living, whilst the complex as a whole opens outward.

▼后山泡池庭院,courtyard with bath at the back mountain ©丁思民

▼连接建筑与庭院的廊道和门洞,corridors and openings connecting the buildings and courtyards ©丁思民

▼悬挑混凝土平台连接主次庭院,elevated concrete platform connecting the main and back courtyards ©王子凌


From Raw Material to Façade

在三个单体建筑改造中,我们采取了一种以新携旧的态度——用新材料(石块)来强化和迭代原结构(红砖房)的形态。用融合提升来替代新旧并置和对比。这也转而引发了建造工艺上的一次融合—介于“干垒”(dry stone construction) 和“砌面” (dressing)之间的砌筑方式。石块的原材料由电三轮从附近山边、村路旁散落的石堆收集而来。之后,石块要经历挑选、切凿、垒样墙、放线和砌筑的整套程序。通过与当地石匠的密切合作,我们仅在砌筑过程中控制石块石村、缝隙宽度和错缝方式三个变量,在此框架内给予当地石匠们自由,根据自己的手感和经验完成具体的砌筑。

The project explores a nuanced approach toward the old, enhancing the original structure, through an innovative stonework between “dry stone construction” and “dressing”. Having discovered some natural quarries nearby, we transported freshly mined stones to the site. With participation of local stonemasons, only three parameters, stone size, gap size and gap pattern, are predetermined, with the rest of the work completed according to each stonemason’s own experience and sense.

▼施工过程,construction process ©方书君工作室

▼石材上方的混凝土院墙,concrete courtyard wall resting on the stone base ©丁思民

▼石料细部,details of the stones ©丁思民

卡夫卡在小说《地洞》(“Der Bau”)中描绘了一个由空腔和通道所串联起来的庇护所,而生活在里面的 “我” 用身体挖掘出一个个房间来来筑造自己的安身之所。但不同于卡夫卡所讲述的人性对于外界的“惶恐不安”,项目将外部世界也转化为了身体“挖掘”的一部分。人与自然的关系,不再是两者的对抗,而是对于外界的内化。

In Der Bau, Kafka described a shelter connected by cavities and passages where I, with the body, by digging, create rooms to live in. The fear and anxiety about the outside world are dissolved in this project for the outside world has been transformed into a part of body’s “digging”.

main courtyard and back yard can be seen simultaneously from the north wing ©王子凌

▼客厅,living room ©丁思民

▼儿童房,可以看到后院,children’s room with view to the back courtyard ©王子凌

▼看向泡池庭院的套房,suite with view to the courtyard with bath ©丁思民

▼标准客房,standard guest room ©王子凌

▼主庭院夜景,night view of the main courtyard ©王子凌

▼露台夜景,terrace in the night ©王子凌

▼模型,model ©方书君工作室

▼布局平面,layout plan ©方书君工作室

▼一层平面图,ground floor plan ©方书君工作室

▼屋顶平面图,roof plan ©方书君工作室

▼立面图,elevation ©方书君工作室

▼细部,details ©方书君工作室

建筑/室内/景观设计:STUDIO FSJ

Project Name: Mountain Dwelling
Project Type: Architecture, Renovation
Project Location: Beishimen Village, Shidu Scenic Area, Fangshan District, Beijing
Architectural/Interior/Landscape Design: STUDIO FSJ
Design Team: Fang Shujun, He Kuang, Ding Simin, Zhang Luojia, Zhang Ruixin
Site Architect: Zhang Luojia
Client: San Fen Si Ran
Builder: Beijing Zhanlin Construction Engineering Co., Ltd., local masons, local carpenters
Material: Local Limestone, Galvanized Steel, Manchurian Ash, Birch Plywood, Microcement
Original Function: Farmyard
New Function: Home Stay, Reception
Site Area: 343m2
Total Floor Area: 166m2
Design Phase: 2020.09-2021.01
Construction Phase: 2020.12-2021.08
Photographer: Wang Ziling, Ding Simin, STUDIO FSJ