The Roof House
过半儿 guò bàn ér
guò bàn ér design agency adds natural daylight and comfort to an ordinary rural house. Located around 60 km north of Beijing's city center at the foothills of the Great Wall of China, the architects were given the task to add a modest extension to a vacant rural house. By extending the original roof slope of the existing dwelling, guò bàn ér constructed an additional 120 square meters of living area. The extension placed at the garden level creates a much-intended split level between the dining area and the living room. The newly added pitched roof shelters the core social areas of the house. The roof kinks up at its east-side and west-side, accommodating a tea room and a small spa area. Four skylights flood the lounging area with additional daylight, and floor-to-ceiling windows on the formerly windowless north-side provide cross ventilation. The roof slope ends at over two meters in height, scaling the nine-meter-wide glass opening facing the garden to a fitting human scale. The exterior wooden deck frames the garden with its path and connects both wings of the house with the main terrace. In summer, the folding glass windows of the tea room and the spa area and the large sliding doors of the living area open up, extending all domestic activities towards the garden. The large open fireplace is a motif for the comfort added to the house and its contemporary rural character. "Creating an airy main space which provides flexibility for a wide range of living activities was key. We want to offer models for a fitting transformation in the context of rural areas. We don't want to recall villa typologies that stay empty shells; they have become all but too present in rural areas outside Beijing," says Sun Min, Co-founder of guò bàn ér.