The Screen


The Screen - Ningbo

The Screen is the first building of a series of interventions in the Dicheng Valley, outside of Ningbo, Zhejiang province. This project was completed while working under the renowned architect, Li Xiaodong, in his atelier in Beijing. Visit Li Xiaodong Atelier.

Brick screen and bamboo

The Screen

The building houses the management offices, staff, and workers required for the rest of the development, and is conceived as a highly site specific building making full use of, and connecting to its natural surroundings.

The entrance through the brick screen

The Site

The Dicheng valley, on the outskirts of Ningbo, in Zhejiang province, provides the natural setting for the overall development of a series of interventions in the valley.

The building nestled within the surrounding landscape

The screen, seen through the bamboo

Sequence of Worlds

Instead of evenly distributing the functional program on the site, we create a sequence of different worlds. The atmosphere of these realms relate to the specific qualities of the exact building site at any given location.

The entrance with bamboo gardens

Local construction techniques.

Sustainable Integration

Our main objective for this project, as mutually expressed by both the client and the architect, was to achieve a sustainable integration of landscape and architecture. Therefore the placement of our building is chosen carefully, so as to least interrupt the natural conditions.

Site sections and building elevations

Brick screens and bamboo

Interior courtyard timber screens

Quality of Living

We believed that a good quality environment enables a better quality of life and this should be true for everyone. Therefore, although this first building is a ‘service building’, meant to house and facilitate the people that will work or manage the site on a daily base, we also provide them with a good quality environment that respects their desires and creates a unique life/ work environment.

Timber courtyard screen facade

Courtyard Quality

To create a sense of community we cut out two courtyard spaces. These courtyards create two distinct focus points.

Courtyard interior at night

Interior courtyard screen details

Surrounding Dichen valley

Appreciation of Landscape

We use the courtyards to focus on the landscape around the building, and to connect people with the beauty of the natural environment around them. In this way, the appreciation of the landscape becomes inherent in their daily life and provides a strong attachment to the Dichen Valley.

Brick screen wrapping around the whole building

Context & Craftsmanship

By understanding the craftsmanship of local masonry builders, we were able to create a very complex, though simple in appearance, brick facade, using a traditional technique of brickwork, combined with modern techniques of engineering.

Brick screen details

Local techniques used to stack bricks into a screen facade

Team: Li Xiaodong, Martijn de Geus, Jerry Hau, Ying Xin, Renske van Dam

Project Year: 2013

Location: Dacheng Valley, Zhejiang Province, China

Project completed while working at Li Xiaodong Atelier.