One hundred bold experiments in architecture are about to sprout from the desert of Inner Mongolia, thanks to business tycoon Cai Jiang. He approached the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron to commission 100 avant-garde houses designed mostly by emerging talents in architecture. The residences will be part of a new cultural district in the Ordos region.
Among the lucky 100 designers, hailing from 27 countries, are Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design grads Shadi Rahbaran (BArch 2000) and Samer Hoot (BArch 2001). Hoot’s contribution (left) plays with the relationship between the building and its landscape: it features a transparent middle tier that is turned out southward. The design weds traditional Chinese architecture with a contemporary sensibility.
“With only a few major guidelines, we were allowed a degree of experimentation you typically only see in architectural competitions,” says Hoot, founder and director of PAD in Toronto. Construction is expected to start before the end of the year.