Wutopia Lab has recently completed a house in Shanghai with a black courtyard called the hiding house. The residence, which took six years in making, comprises two volumes connected via an open wooden deck, which is in direct contact with the garden.
Wutopia Lab divided the hiding house in two main parts, living space and service space, through a continuous surface. On the south side of this surface, the architects have placed the living room, which also serves as an exhibition room and library, the dining room, the master bedroom, the tearoom, and the courtyard, which doubles as a garden and stage. The other side houses the kitchen, toilet, equipment room and a room for exhibitions. The mezzanine level is designed for services, storage, and other living activities.
“For 74 months, the client did not know what he wanted,” explains Wutopia Lab. “But he was certain that he wanted to present the dramatic experience of life without exaggerating it.”
The hiding house is characterized by multiple functional roles occurring at once, from a residence, to a small museum, exhibition space, and library. “The boundary between private and public is blurred,” continues the Shanghai-based architecture studio. “From the perspective of events, real and fictitious, public and private, all were intertwined into ambiguous contexts at different scales.”
In its construction, the house combines volcanic rock, Taihu stone, perforated aluminum plate, glass, steel plate, diatom mud, wood, and white cement. Large windows connect interiors with the micro Chinese garden outside, which forms the center of the project. located in a separate volume, the tearoom is characterized by a continuous glass window and a perforated plate that ensures enough privacy. The courtyard is complete with a translucent curtain that separates it from the wooden deck and transforms it into a stage.