Captain’s House is located on the southeast of Huangqi Peninsula, Fujian Province. Due to the damp and erosive nature of the seaside, the existing structure was unsafe and had large-areas of water leakage during over 20 years of use. This became the main design issues to be addressed. Furthermore, the captain hoped to add a third floor to the existing structure which can accommodate their current lifestyle.
Our design work started with the study of structural reinforcement. After a series of careful comparisons, we decided to add a layer of 12cm concrete wall to the original brick masonry walls. This strategy gave us the potential to make a better quality of space.
The intervention of the new concrete wall allows us to re-manipulate the layout to some extent. Both the original bathrooms on the first and second floors were moved from the sea-viewing side to the side close to the neighbor. This allowed the living room, dining room and master bedroom to get better views and more natural light and fresh air.
The locations and forms of openings also were carefully reconsidered. The new concrete window frames extend from the outside wall, preventing excessive rainwater from seeping into the windows. The thickness of the frames was used to designed a“window-furniture” system: windows are no longer simple openings, but serve as a spatial expression between nature and the interior space.
We choose vaulting to be the structural form of the third floor addition. It reduces the possibility of water leakage by not allowing any rainwater to enter. The Vaulted roof is directional. It connects two sides of the ocean with dramatically different characters: the serene ocean side contrasting with the noisy port. This added floor serves as a multifunctional living space: it accommodates visiting family and friends and functions perfectly as a gym or an activity room as well. Additionally, since the captain’s family is Christian, this space is also intended to be a family chapel.
At dusk, the gentle light comes through the translucent glass blocks. We hope the house will gradually become the carrier of emotions for the captain’s family, and provide dignity and decency to the daily life of ordinary people, which is particularly meaningful under the current circumstance of China.