The Alternate Horizon Residence situates at the foot of the highest mountain of Shanghai and is next to a meandering river. The surrounding native landscape represent the conceptual source and guideline for the architectural idea.
Before the renovation, the interior and exterior of the building have already been completed as a show house. The classical European style is contrary to the owner's demands for space modernity. Therefore, the design is to break this traditional layout and re-examine the multiple connections between the villa and the environment, and to give a contemporary interpretation of the traditional model.
Although the main entrance of the building is on the first floor, due to its dramatic slopes of the terrain, the basement floor is almost leveled to the open courtyard, which becomes the most important design opportunity to be remodeled as a new gathering space. The construction started with the removal of extra non-bearing walls. By reshaping the exposed facade and structures to be more light-weight and elegant, original concrete columns and slabs were partially replaced with steel structures. The continuous cantilevered canopy grew from the zero point not only created overhangs as semi-outdoor space, but also defined the unique new horizon of the whole site with its impressive figure.
The original building has both indoor and outdoor pools. During the renovation, the indoor swimming pool in the basement was transformed into a sinking living room, which is also the core of the gathering space. The entire basement is organized as a sequence of spaces: the dance area, the living room and the recreation area. In order to maximize the mobility of the spaces, different areas are connected to each other without partition walls.
Towards the end of the dancing area, the continuous canopy cast an gentle shadow from the oval-shaped skylight. With the reflection from the customized stainless mirror ceiling together with the long mirror wall as doors of the storage space, the interior space is enlarged dramatically. At sunrise and sunset moments, the reflection of the outdoor swimming pool will bring a special sense of blue to the environment as well.
Sitting by the four-meter-long walnut platform in the east side recreation area, the Zen garden with black pines shaped the cinematic view frame. Customized white terrazzo is used on walls and floors of the kitchen and bar.
The design of the landscape also carries our thinking of bringing views to multiple perspectives. By re-organizing the complex height differences of the site, the originally barren garden turned into a playful and beautiful place with seasonal changing scenes.