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Appreciation towards Jumping House Lab (contact mail: firstname.lastname@example.org) for providing the following description:
A Small Artist Community
▼视频，video © 夏至 + 跳房子建筑工作室
The tiny tower is located at the corner of a small artist community hidden in groves of bamboos in a large paddy field. The community consists of four commonly seen one-floor houses, each with a dual-pitched roof and renovated. Apart from these dwellings, there is a small pond and a paved yard. The community provides various spaces for artists’ living, working, exhibiting and get-togethers; whereas the tiny tower is where the artists would head for when their work requires a more spiritual space. Other times it could serve as a unique guest room.
▼守望稻田，Watch the paddy field © 夏至
▼稻田中的艺术家社区，Artist community in the paddy field © 夏至
▼小院改造前，Courtyard before renovation
▼小院改造后，Courtyard after renovation
The client has conceived of a pleasant ideal lifestyle and planned to invite artist friends to come and stay now and then. They could enjoy and understand nature, focus on creating, and escape from the city’s chaos.
The client named the place ‘Jia Se’, which consists of two Chinese characters that refer to cultivating and harvesting respectively: cultivating the land and working in the studio; harvesting crops and completing art pieces.
There has never been a boundary that separates aesthetic life from practical farm work; on the other hand, it may be these two aspects that combine to form an ideal life. At the beginning of the Chinese scholar gardening, constructing and using gardens always entailed considering their agricultural value. Plants and ponds were meant to please the eye and to satisfy the owner’s appetite – with fruits from the trees and fish from the ponds. As the ideal form of life for traditional Chinese scholars, the garden originally included both the scholar’s spatial aesthetic system and a basic agricultural production system.
This artist community’s conditions allowed for such an ideal to become real, with the surrounding paddy and the pond in the yard, artists could plant trees and keep fishes, and we hoped to complete the picture with our design.
▼池塘与小塔，The pond and the tower © 夏至
▼临着池塘的阳光廊，The Sunshine Gallery facing the pond © 夏至
High Off The Ground
While the community is hidden in bamboos, the small tower, braced by a seemingly random wooden support arranged according to clear construction logic, goes up to 6 metres high off the ground, providing a view above the bamboo groves. On scorching summer days, climb up the two ladders and get inside the small tower, and summer breezes are all around. Such an experience could be a pleasant escape from this world.
▼高出竹林的视野，The view above the bamboo groves © 夏至
▼架空，High off the ground © 夏至
▼结构模型，Model of the structure © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼斜撑木构系统将小屋托起架空至6米以上，braced by a wooden support, the tower goes up to 6 metres high off the ground © 夏至
在这座架空的 3.2×3.8 米隐世小屋中隐含着三种视角，一种对着稻田的大视角，一种对着天空的冥想视角，一种对着小院喝茶的扁长视角，可以平视窗前松林，俯瞰池塘。三种视角也决定了小塔的基本外观和布局。
This 3.2m * 3.8m off-the-ground small room that hides from the world offers the visitor three distinct views: a wild view towards the paddy field; an upward view towards the sky for meditation; and a long, narrow horizontal view towards the yard – while enjoying their tea, the visitor could see pine trees in the front or overlook the ponds. These views have decided the appearance and layout of the small tower.
▼面向稻田的视角，The view towards the paddy field © 夏至
▼对着天空的视角，The view towards the sky © 夏至
▼水平视角，The horizontal view © 夏至
▼夏日午后，Summer afternoon © 夏至
Two Distinct Experiences
Inside the small tower, there is a wall dividing the space into an ‘inward’ half and an ‘outward’ half, each establishing its own atmosphere and therefore a particular experience: the inward half and the outward half, the shady half and the bright half, the half for meditation and the half for views.
▼剖面图，Sections © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼冥想空间外观，Meditation space exterior view © 夏至
▼守望稻田，Watch the paddy field © 夏至
▼一半冥想一半守望，The half for meditation and the half for views © 夏至
▼冥想空间，Meditation space © 夏至
The Architect’s Notes
我的直觉是想造一座质朴自然同时又有点超现实的隐士小屋，当时我脑中闪现过多种意象， 比如日本建筑师藤森照信的茶室系列，像一个个童话故事的片段，还比如柯布西耶拉图莱特修道院的采光筒、卒母托的长条形的木构博物馆（女巫审判受害者纪念馆）以及某张园林画中的开敞高阁等等。这些意象以及预想的三个视角、两种体验拼凑出了最终的冥想守望塔。 后来因为小塔施工时间不足，小塔未建，荷兰风车还是被建了起来。
▼草图，Sketch © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼影响设计的其中几个意象，Some images influencing this design © 跳房子建筑工作室
About three or four years ago, the local government intended to build a Dutch windmill on the client’s farm to improve the landscape. The client thought a Dutch windmill would be too abrupt in the surroundings, so they came to me and asked me to design a structure of more robust sense of localisation to substitute for the Dutch windmill.
My instinct was to create a space for a hermit, something rustic but also somehow surreal. Various images flashed through my mind: Japanese architect Terunobu Fujimori’s tea houses – each is like a fragment from fairy tales, the tubes on the roof of Le Corbusier’s La Tourette that allow sunlight in, and the long, wooden Steilneset Memorial by Peter Zumthor, as well as a lofty open pavilion in a Chinese landscape painting. These images integrated with the three views in conception and the two desired experiences, turning into this tower for meditation and views. To my regret, time was so limited that the Dutch windmill had been completed before the tower’s construction started.
A couple of years later, the client decided to alter and renovate a few warehouses that had been standing idle and turn the place into an artist village, and hence there is the current project. I chose to locate the small tower at the bamboo groves’ corner rather than in the paddy. The structure could rise from the bamboos and go above them, each view gaining a more precise reference. The tower has become somewhat like a hermit’s room that reminds me of traditional Chinese gardening’s principle: the relationship is of greater significance than the constructions themselves.
▼向稻田打开，Open to the paddy field © 夏至
▼远景，Distant view © 夏至
由于各种因素的影响，小塔基本完工，而社区改造只完成了 80%，目前处于停工停用的状态，也许这剩下的 20%便是理想与现实之间的距离。而现实的缺陷意外地让小塔成为了一处绝对纯粹的精神空间。
For various reasons, the small tower is completed while the community’s renovation has been suspended at 80% of its completion. The uncompleted 20% could be a symbol of the distance between the ideal and the reality. Such flawed reality hence coincidentally left the tower an absolute spiritual space.
▼西南角，Southwest view © 夏至
▼北立面，North elevation © 夏至
▼夜色中的小塔，The tower in the night © 夏至
▼总平面图，Master Plan © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼平面图，Plans © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼立面图，Elevations © 跳房子建筑工作室
▼立面图和剖面图，Elevation & Sections © 跳房子建筑工作室
项目名称：冥想守望塔 Tower for Meditation and Views
设计方：跳房子建筑工作室 Jumping House Lab
项目设计 & 完成年份：2016-2019
主创及设计团队：王田田、罗雅琴 Wang Tiantian Luo Yaqin
项目地址：浙江 湖州 Huzhou Zhejiang
结构顾问：谢利辉 Xie Lihui
施工管理：陈浩、崔文斌 Chen Hao Cui Wenbin
施工团队：严建海团队 Yan Jianhai Team
摄影版权：夏至 Xia Zhi
翻译：滑琪 Hua Qi
材料：回收木料 木瓦 抹泥