The Tongxian Gatehouse was built over ten years ago, some 30 minutes outside of Beijing. With the speed of expansion, the project now sits within the expanding footprint of the city, and what was a rural small town has become densified. With this advent, the rural roads have had to be widened. Given its heritage status, the Tongxian Gatehouse was moved back from the existing street about 60 ft.
This project is less than 2,000 square feet in size, but remains an important one in our work. It is maybe the most comprehensive proposal where we align the interest of geometry, program, form and tectonic unit into binding reciprocity, such that there emerges a more critical relationship between part and whole. Most notably, the main complex was never built. Another structure was built in its stead by Ai WeiWei, who also served as local expediter for the gatehouse.