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Smriti Curtilage: T.K. Chu Applied Traditional Chinese Philosophies into this Modern Oasis

Project name:
Smriti Curtilage
Architecture firm:
Gad Greentown Design
Suzhou, China
Wang Ting
Principal architect:
Yu Jiang
Design team:
Bryant Liu, Claire Chen, Egerie Liao, Kevin Cheng, Penny Luo, Chelsea Lu, Peter Yao, Chobit Jian, Peling Lin, Maru Jiang, Yanyi Li
Interior design:
T. K. Chu
Built area:
Site area:
1090 ㎡
Design year:
Completion year:
Civil engineer:
Structural engineer:
Masui Junsuke Design Studio
Tools used:
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, AutoCAD
Yanlord Land

T.K. Chu projects a note of duality and his thinking of traditional Chinese philosophies into this modern oasis, Smriti Curtilag, Yanlord Land, Suzhou, China. 

Background info: Suzhou is the cradle of Coupling Garden, whom preserves the legacy of the dual qualities of Suzhou: modernity and tradition. Embedded on a secluded retreat, enclosed by tranquil nature, equipped with a verdant backyard, the residence is a classic microcosm of Suzhou Gardens. The residence is in the proximity of a courtyard named ‘Ŏu Yuán (耦园)’ (Couple's Retreat Garden; Ŏu Yuán) which is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.

Chinese courtyard at nightimage © Wang Ting

T.K. Chu nestled a serenely elegant home built around a courtyard. There is a weighty dose of contagious serenity spreading from the courtyard to the interior through the sliding glass doors, which open to a limpid pool and a Zen garden where bamboos and grasses send off refreshing aroma to the interior after a short spell of rain. Coming closer to the doors is like coming onto a threshold of a private Zen world.

Chinese teahouse from garden view image © Wang Ting

Outwardly, it is the presence of naturalistic artistry; inwardly, simplistic modernity. The subtle duality is what T.K. Chu would love to explore and invest.

The propensity for duality in China may elude Westerners, simply to put, duality is the dual juxtaposition in a pair. Different from the notion of trinity, duality is starred in the design with a singular focus: spreading the gospel of harmonies in a very Chinese manner.

maple and teaware image © Wang Ting

Granted that the notion is a little bit indecipherable, it comes more acceptable in a form of verticality and linearityangularity and irregularity — The marbles being finely cut, the hallway being replete with geometric expressions, the rocks and trees boasting their untrimmed appearance — the duality is unified within the residence but divided by the windows.

the foyer on the level one image © Wang Ting

The designer gives his explanation on the concept of his design, which is grounded on a strong form of externalization of traditional Chinese philosophies: individuals being manifesting their humblest demeanor in an effort to show reverence to the Mother Nature and reach the oneness with the nature. That’s why the elements of nature is literally everywhere in the space.

hallway on the ground floorimage © Wang Ting

Full-height windows connect with the outdoors scattering light in to illuminate the space.

The consistency of neutral tones flows throughout the main level. The kitchen focuses more on the elegance of the ambient conditions whereby there are fewer distractions from savouring every mouthful of cuisines with preoccupied relish.

luxury interior with fine stone wallsimage © Wang Ting

The staircase is more like a vertical meandering sculpture leading upwards to the privacy of the dwellers.

The sculpture, Coupling, by PoLin Yang

The sculpture receives the bulk of the effort that was put into the enhancement of ‘coupling’. Created by a figurative artist, PoLin Yang, the silhouette of it stays true to the intimacy and interdependence of dual elements. T.K. Chu wants to modernise the space through the agent of indescribable abstraction principally because its sophistication and complexity is a gateway to evoking the emotions.

cozy fireplace and books

A whiskey bar is a fixture in the boutique hotel thereby to showcase the dwellers’ high air. The liveliness thrives in the space so that it allows dwellers to unwind.

The design team opted to infuse the cohesiveness with the spaces throughout all levels without eroding away the charm of the basement. T.K. Chu does not want to see the basement is slavish to the main level insomuch that he led the team to build up the equity for it. Dwellers could be the king in the basement level, they will be free to do anything as they are pleased to.

living room with slide windowimage © Wang Ting

cozy living room with fireplace image © Wang Ting

living room with leather sofaimage © Wang Ting

glass table and leather sofa image © Wang Ting

dining room with big table and chairs image © Wang Ting

dining room with pendant lamp image © Wang Ting

dining table with chairs image © Wang Ting

staircase with marble stone image © Wang Ting

marble stone walls image © Wang Ting

staircase view from down image © Wang Ting

luxury white kitchen image © Wang Ting

wooden staircase image © Wang Ting

wooden suspended stairs in living roomimage © Wang Ting

black tableimage © Wang Ting

steel sculpture image © Wang Ting

whisky bar next to living room image © Wang Ting

staircase with led lighting at night image © Wang Ting

white sofa image © Wang Ting

white sofa next to bar image © Wang Ting

room decoration and painting on the wall image © Wang Ting

grey color rug and metallic table image © Wang Ting

red chair and white leather sofa image © Wang Ting

whisky bar with black stools image © Wang Ting

wine bar image © Wang Ting

bar at basement image © Wang Ting

sculpture image © Wang Ting

room decor image © Wang Ting

bedroom with garden view image © Wang Ting

bathroom with oval shaped bathtub image © Wang Ting

corridor with garden view image © Wang Ting

books on the desk image © Wang Ting

basement floor plan-2 Floor Plan

floor plan-1 Floor Plan

Ground Floor Plan 1 Floor Plan

Second Floor Plan2 Floor Plan

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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