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.
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.