A Mint-Green Addition Freshens Up a Brick House in China

A Mint-Green Addition Freshens Up a Brick House in China

By Melissa Dalton
Wonder Architects fuse a crisp addition to a traditional brick home in Hou Heilongmiao Village.

Wonder Architects designed this tile-clad addition to emulate the gabled form of traditional brick buildings in Hou Heilongmiao Village in rural Yanqing, Beijing, China. Thanks to this site-sensitive approach, the Intertwine House draws on local architecture without erasing it completely.

Wonder Architects skillfully integrated the new addition with the older brick structure on the site, as well as the surrounding homes. The original structure held a wedding room that was built in the 1980s. 

The tile-clad addition sits in the former yard of the wedding room, and now hosts the entry, dining room, and kitchen.

Speaking about the project’s intent, the firm says: "Tear down and rebuild? Or worship history and keep it as it was? We feel that the dual relationship between the old and the new should be merged into a ‘communisme formel’–giving a new meaning to an object that’s already produced."

A view from above shows how the new tiled addition "intertwines" with the existing brick structure, and echoes the form of the homes in the village.

Roof terraces connect the two volumes on the lot.

A black-framed glass door provides street access. Steps form a path to the dining room and kitchen.

The new entryway is demarcated by a glass vestibule, and a series of stepped platforms descend from the front door to the kitchen and dining room. From here, a wide corridor leads to the more private areas in the brick shell. The stepped platforms and wood flooring create a unifying rhythm throughout the house, knitting old and new together across varying levels. 

Occupants on the roof terrace can look down into the addition via the skylight. A narrow window over the table affords a view of the street, and the built-in table’s triangular shape saves space.

In the kitchen, a picture window frames a view of the older brick structure. The original structure’s mint-green window frames inspired the new design.

A corridor and exterior roof terraces connect the addition to the existing building.

Shop the Look
Daltile RetroSpace Ceramic Wall Tile
Reinvent mid-century modern styling with RetroSpace. The nostalgic effect of this wall tile dresses up your design with subtle character and color.
Fritz Hansen Drop Chair
When the legendary Danish designer Arne Jacobsen was commissioned to develop the SAS Royal Hotel in Copenhagen in 1958, he ended up designing almost every aspect of the hotel.
Eero Aarnio Ball Chair
Ball Chair was designed by Eero Aarnio in 1963 and presented at the International Furniture Fair in Cologne in 1966, and it became Aarnio's international breakthrough.

The existing building at the back of the the site holds a living room, two bedrooms, and two baths. White walls and light-colored wood flooring offset the preserved brick walls and timber framework at the ceiling.

A skylight inset into the tiled roof brings light into the interior.

Bedrooms bookend the living space in the middle.

Green tile covers the bathroom for consistency with the exterior. The steps lead up to a loft above the bathroom cube.

The roof terrace provides a private place to eat outdoors, as well as a view of the picturesque countryside.

Ground floor plan

Get the Renovations Newsletter

Get carefully curated content filled with inspiring homes from around the world, innovative new products, and the best in modern design.

See a sample