Location: Lingshui County, Hainan, China
Client: Lin Yi Kai
Project: Country residence
Cost: 4 000 000 RMB
Status: Conceptual
Area: 550 m2
Architect: Frederik Dolmans
Renders: Frederik Dolmans


In the quiet mountains of Hainan island rests a small lake with a unique set of qualities. Acting as a reservoir for the fields in the valley below, it is contained by a dam that regulates the water flow down a steep ravine. The surface level remains consistent year round and is protected from high winds by the surrounding terrain and vegetation. At an unusually high altitude, the lake is granted a marvelous view over the dam and across the scenic mountain range to the south.

'Landscript' is an architectural design philosophy established by Seung H-Sang, which suggests that built environments should be directly informed by their natural and cultural contexts. The premise for this house design was to take this strategy and challenge its application by choosing a location entirely on the water, effectively removing the land from directly underneath the site.

In order to resonate with its local environment the house's narrative is found in the broader, rather than immediate settings. Mountains and valleys are arranged in patterns that tell ancient geological stories. The form of the building was discovered by tracing lines down the valleys that transverse the lake, and interpreting their projected interactions. The surrounding ridge-lines were observed, and silhouettes of these against the sky were outlined. These interrelated curves provided the base anatomy of the house. The ground floor was offset below the water level, shifting the focal point down to the surface of the lake. Though the home does not directly touch dry land, it remains entirely integrated into the local and distant landscape.


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