Nature, art deco and Chinese heritage converge in this modern Suzhou villa

This modern Suzhou villa by T.K. Chu Design creates grandeur on a domestic scale

Villa Homespun Philosophy by T.K. Chu Design
(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Weaving together tradition and modernity, nature and the manmade world, Villa Homespun Philosophy is the brainchild of Taiwan-based practice T.K. Chu Design and local developer China Railway Construction Real Estate. This modern Suzhou villa's architecture and interior design draw on Chinese heritage and the idyllic city's history and culture, distilling their essence into a modern domestic space that feels contemporary, richly layered and luxurious. 

The house is situated a stone's throw from the city's World Heritage Site, the Humble Administrator’s Garden, a green expanse of miniature landscapes and water features. Taking their cues from this context, the designers composed a villa that ‘pays tribute to the Chinese traditional garden culture'. 

‘The sinuous curves of the inner space are meant to create a dreamscape, reminding us of the pace of nature and the poetic spirit of literati gardens,' explains architect and studio head T.K. Chu. This philosophy is also true in the project's outdoor areas, where water elements and stone arrangements at the entrance garden and internal courtyard reference period Chinese painting. 

Villa Homespun Philosophy by T.K. Chu Design exterior

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Chu's signature style often includes nods to art deco, which he blends with modern forms and materials, moulding refined, original interiors. The same approach was followed here. As a result, Villa Homespun Philosophy's four levels (two above ground and two below) offer clean, geometric designs with attention to detail and a sense of grandeur – yet on an appropriate, domestic scale. 

The colour white becomes a main feature in the architecture throughout, as it's the ‘typical colour of Suzhou', Chu points out. It is contrasted by colour accents in the furniture pieces that add playfulness and personality to the different rooms. Meanwhile, ‘the stainless-steel corrugated plates, and water-shaped ceilings, furniture and decorations bring out a shimmering effect and conjure up a vision of a Chinese watertown', continues the architect. 

Indeed, nature references and landscapes are a constant in this interior. Chu describes a ‘cloud-shaped' internal balcony in the lower level gallery space, a green wall and decor that was chosen so as to ‘form a miniature world'. Past and present, indoors and outdoors converge in this sophisticated interior design.

Living space with chair

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Villa Homespun Philosophy by T.K. Chu Design staircase

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Tea room with table

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Study space

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Villa Homespun Philosophy by T.K. Chu Design seating detail

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Family room

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Design bar at entertainment area

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

Bedroom with wooden flooring

(Image credit: Di Zhu )

INFORMATION

tkchu.com.tw (opens in new tab)

Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture Editor at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018) and Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020).

With contributions from