NYC Firms Design for Ordos with Global Concerns in Mind

Event: Ordos 13 — in conjunction with exhibition 13:100 | Thirteen New York Architects Design for Ordos
Location: The Urban Center, 10.17.08
Speakers: Gregory Wessner — Digital Programs & Exhibitions Director, The Architectural League of New York; Lyn Rice, AIA — Founder, Lyn Rice Architects; Pablo Castro — OBRA Architects; Daniel Holguin & Issei Suma — Multiplicities; Hayes Slade & James Slade, AIA — Principals & Founders, Slade Architecture; Alexandra Barker, AIA — Principal, Barker Freeman Design Office; Keller Easterling — Keller Easterling; Josh Uhl, AIA — Associate, Toshiko Mori Architect; Srdjan Jovanovic Weiss — Founder & Partner, Normal Architecture Office; Rodrigo Vidal — rsvp architects; Eric Bunge, AIA — Partner, nARCHITECTS; Jinhee Park, AIA, & John Hong, AIA — Principals, SINGLE speed DESIGN; Paul Lewis, AIA, Marc Tsurumaki, AIA, David Lewis — Partners, Lewis.Tsurumaki.Lewis; Dan Wood, AIA — Principal, WORKac
Organizers: The Architectural League of New York

13 NY-based firms’ designs for Ordos are on view at the Urban Center.

Courtesy The Architectural League of New York

The design phase has come to end in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, where 100 international firms are each designing 1,000-square-meter villas within 100 days without constraints of a client. In 13:100 | Thirteen New York Architects Design for Ordos, designed by Project_ at the Urban Center, the 13 NY-based architects participating in the project have been given 1/100 of the gallery to present their villas in images, texts, drawings, and a 1:100 scale model. Recently, they were given more restraints: each firm could present 15 slides shown for 15 seconds.

Every presentation was different, emblematic of the various styles of the firms (perhaps most unique was Slade Architecture, who planted staff in the audience to shout words timed with the slides), but what one could take away from the presentation was a sense that, regardless of the size of the homes, Ordos amplifies contemporary concerns about ecology, economy, inequity, celebrity, and cultural hegemony. For example, Eight Towers by SINGLE speed DESIGN features energy-efficient design. As the title implies, the villa consists of eight towers that connect at different points, each symbolizing a different use. The idea is that when one tower is occupied, the others do not need to be consuming energy.

Lyn Rice Architects is focusing on one of Ordo’s environmental issues — trying to control regional erosion. The design of Villa 007, on what used to be a meadow, consists of three landscaped courts that shape the glazed-concrete villa.

The Villa-Villa, or “a House in a House” as described by Eric Bunge, AIA, of nARCHITECTS, responds to Ordos’ extreme climate by expanding and contracting with the temperature. In inclement weather, the “Inner House” compactly holds the essentials of living while the “Outer House” provides an extra layer of shelter. In temperate weather, the residents can expand their dwelling to the “Outer House,” an outdoor-like environment.