Shadowcreek Showhouse: Cross-Cultural Surprise

Type: Showhouse
Location: Beijing
Client: New World Development
Size: 10,000 sqft
Completion: 2015

Inspiration for this four-storey showhouse evolved from a Qianlong Dynasty scroll acquired at an auction in France. Bold in expression, the house is infused with Chinese culture through an abstraction of traditional forms. At the same time, western-style accents and colour palettes bring out the warmth and comfort to create a cross-cultural and eccentric experience.

The experience of duality starts with the rectangular double-height foyer. Greeted by a group of full-height twisted wood veneer installed on the wall and pendant lights in the shape of birds, the focus is directed to the Chinese medicine chest with an antique bench at which guests can comfortably remove their shoes.

The juxtaposition of opposing elements carries through to the choice of furnishings. In the dining area, modern leather chairs encircle a large table. A cluster of wooden pendant lights are casually hung above the table to portray the spirit of casual family dining and sharing. The living room, despite having a western-style set up, is accented by a guqin. A French artist was commissioned to create a pair of double-height paintings that hang in the background on either sides of the double-height window.

On the first floor, one of the bedrooms sing a musical tune with a pipa on display. However, the bookshelf takes the shape of a western musical staff and the bed is suspended with strings to create a mismatch. In the other room, it’s all about art. The design of the rigid bed frame, resembling a traditional scroll painting, sits atop a soft rug with interwoven designs. On the top floor, the master suite adopts conservative Chinese décor contrasted with a subtlety glittering cove ceiling, while a minimal white marble ensuite bathroom contrasts with the texturally rich bedroom.

The thoughtful touches continue in the family room and wine cellar in the basement. But that’s not all: opening up behind a concealed door, the centre gallery space looks right into an unexpected surprise – a soothing, relaxing indoor swimming pool glimmering right before your eyes.

This is a house full of delightful surprises for one to curiously explore.