Concrete Vessel is an experimental house FCJZ designed for the China House Vision exhibition curated by the renowned Japanese designer Kenya Hara, which is currently on view in Beijing. Our corporate partner is Haier, a popular Chinese home appliance brand.
As the theme of House Vision is about future living, we begin to imagine a house that would truly embrace a nature that is defined by fresh air, natural light, living plants, and blue sky, which are all scarce commodities in present day, yet maintains the privacy required by domestic life. Built upon the notion of a traditional courtyard house of Beijing, we also bring a piece of nature to the center of an introvert dwelling in form of an atrium; however, in our version of a courtyard house, the boundaries between the interior and exterior spaces can be completely opened up thus the courtyard is literally inside the house and becomes an integral part of the architecture. A continuous living space wraps around the courtyard and can be divided into two to four rooms by sliding partitions if such needs rise. Meanwhile, all necessary electronics are totally integrated into the building system in form of two counters and equipment underground.
The structural system consists of steel columns along the periphery of the building with a cantilevered roof and eaves around the central courtyard. The material used on all surfaces inside and outside of the building, including the casings for the appliances as well as furniture, is a 3mm thin Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete (or GRC), made from recycled construction debris. Its thinness makes this material very lightweight and its porosity creates a living environment that breathes and filters the air while allowing light coming through.
We name the building Concrete Vessel to lead the exhibition visitors to discover how concrete has evolved into a new substance that will no longer cut off the connection between life and nature, rather on the contrary, it helps to create a friendly interface.
The research and development of the GRC technology is conducted by Baogui Shiyi in collaboration of FCJZ.