January 25, 2020

Ancient and Modern Converge at Model Villa in China by ONE-CU Interior Design Lab

A full-height grille defines the living space, with oak-and-rattan seating and a ceramic stool featuring patterns of auspicious clouds, hand-carved in Chaozhou City. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.

In the Guangdong province of northwestern China sits the city of Sihui, its name formed from the words for and convergence due to its location where the Xijiang, Beijiang, Suijiang and Longjiang rivers meet. It’s also the site of Poly South China’s Landscape Mansion development, in which ONE-CU Interior Design Lab has created a model villa that brings the ancient location into the 21st century.

The monochromatic kitchen and dining area emphasizes textures including marble for the island and both matte and glossy floor tiles. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.

The 3,000-square-foot, four bedroom/five bath residence recontextualizes traditional Chinese gardens by planting screens as dividers in social spaces and windows among ample greenery and bonsai trees. “The culture of Square and Round, or Fangyuan in ancient China,” says creative director Huang Jianfeng, “was extracted and applied to the shapes of furniture, with the simplest forms and affordable luxury materials.”

The monumental staircase is wire-brushed oak with bronzed steel handrails. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.

Decorative wall coverings add just a touch of liveliness to the otherwise monochromatic palette. “Tadao Ando once that said austere architectures are more likely to touch people’s heart,” says the designer. “We strove to touch people’s heart whilst meeting the new urban elite’s demands for a leisurely and tasteful lifestyle.” It’s a truly modern convergence.

A child’s bedroom on the second floor offers an oak bed covered in leather and a hanging chair in brass. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.
A first-floor bedroom features a headboard of woven rattan, with marble and bronze side tables. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.
Another child’s bedroom on the second floor has a bed of solid oak with a metal frame covered in fabric, between side tables topped in walnut with fabric bags for plants. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.
The third-floor master bath is outfitted with sinks, faucets, and a tub all by Kohler. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.
In the master bedroom, a custom screen featuring patterns of auspicious clouds surrounds the oak-and-leather bed. Photography by Threeimages/Zhang Jing.

Read next: Patalab Updates U.K. Arts and Crafts Townhouse to Showcase Art Collection

Recent Projects