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Striking terraced house was made for family gatherings

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An entrance path turns into an adventure

Aerial shot of house with terraces. E-Jay

Architect Lew Joeson rebuilt his family’s home in the mountainous city of Chongqing, China, and it’s a study in how to use terraces to dramatic effect.

Commissioned by Joeson’s father, who wanted a house for his mother and to host family gatherings, Joeson designed a striking residence that feels right at home with its hilly surroundings.

Aerial shot of home’s roof with a terrace surrounded by stairs cutting through a tiled roof. E-Jay

The home embraces the landscape’s natural incline with a layout that steps upward in wide terraces, which are filled with potted plants, garden beds, and seating. The house has an entrance on both ends: The one in the back features a set of stairs that cuts directly through the roof, while the one in the front is reached by a paved exterior pathway leading from the bottom of the house to the top like a maze, creating little moments of pause at each terrace.

Meanwhile, the interior was built for housing large gatherings. The main family spaces fill the first floor, including a serene living room, dining area, and kitchen. These central spaces are surrounded by bedrooms, which include two rooms with three beds each to really maximize sleeping space.

Outside of house on stone-clad terrace. Chong Wang
Wide shot of living room with sectional sofa, wooden coffee table, and wooden dining set in the distance. Chong Wang
Bedroom with window looking out onto landscape. Chong Wang