For architecture, the large contemporary house poses a problem of proportionality and character. Big houses tend to become little buildings that possess an institutional character. Too often, they are comparable to small museums with interiors more suitable for exhibition than for dwelling. 

This house at once concedes to and intensifies this tendency while proposing an alternative; it appears to be an unusually miniature, monumental building while providing interior spaces that are unexpectedly domestic in character. 

The surrounding neighborhood of houses does not allow a contextual sense of belonging. Thus, the miniature building acts like a buoy - anchored and adrift – without the usual moorings of a house. In lieu of a significant architectural context, surrounded by an arid landscape and subject to severe weather conditions, the Ordos house needs to establish its own setting in order to provide an oasis within it.

Location: Dongsheng District, Ordos, China

Client: Dongsheng District of Ordos Urban Planning Bureau

Size: 21,500 sq. m.

Schedule: Design, 2007-2008

Program: Office building complex

Team: Preston Scott Cohen (design); Amit Nemlich (project architect); Matthew Allen, Michelle Chang, Collin Gardner, Lee-Su Huang (project assistants, development and presentation) Michelle Chang, Lee-Su Huang (model)