Renovation of the Captain‘s House

Captain's House locates on the southeast end of Huangqi Peninsula, Fujian Province. The damp and erosive nature of seaside has caused much damage of the existing structure. The precariousness of the structure and the extensive water leakage over the past 2 years are prioritized issues to be addressed. The captain also hopes to add a third floor to the existing structure to accommodate their current lifestyle.

Our design work started with the study of structural reinforcement. After a series of careful studies, we decide to add a 12 cm thick layer concrete to the original brick masonry wall. This strategy brought us the potential to build additional spaces.

l  Layout

The intervention of the new concrete walls allowed us to make changes to the layout to some extent. Both of the original bathrooms on the first floor and the second floor are moved from the sea-viewing side, to the side close to the neighbor. In this way, the living room, dining room and master bedroom are allowed better views, as well as more natural light and fresh air.

l  "Window-furniture" system

The openings of the house were closely considered in term of form and location. The extended concrete window frames stick out from the exterior wall, which prevents excessive rainwater from seeping inside of the glass windows. The thickness of these window frames is then designed into a "window-furniture" system. The window is no longer just an opening. It also serves as a mediated space situated between nature and the interior.

l  Vault

We chose vault to be the structural form of the third floor. It reduces water leakage to the extreme because it barely allows any rainwater to stay. The vault is directional. It connects two sides of sea with dramatically different characters: one being the serene sea, whereas the other being the chaotic port. The additional third floor serves as a multifunctional living space. It not only accommodates visiting family members and friends but also functions as a gym as well as an activity room. Additionally, the captain’s family is Christian; therefore the space under the vault also functions as a family chapel. At dusk, the gentle light seeps from the translucent glass blocks.


We hope the house gradually becomes the carrier of emotion for the captain’s family. In our design, we hope that the house gives very well deserved dignity and decency to the daily life of ordinary people, a particularly meaningful service within the contemporary Chinese context.

l  Video Link Renovation of the Captain's House

Location: Beijiao Village, Fuzhou, Fujian, China
Client: Private Client, Shanghai Dragon Television
Design Firm: Vector Architects
Principal Architect: Gong Dong
Project Architect: Chen Liu
Construction Management: Dongping Sun
Design Team: Dan Zhao, Cunyu Jiang, Zhao Zhang
Site Architect: Zhenqiang Chen, Liangliang Zhao
Structural & MEP Engineering: China Academy of Building Research
Structural Consultant: Congzhen Xiao, Yixin Du
Structure: Concrete Structure Reinforcement (Existing Masonry-concrete Structure)
Material: Concrete, Cherry Wood, Laminated Bamboo Slate, Glass Block, Stucco
Building Area: 470㎡
Design Period: 01/2016-08/2016
Construction Period: 05/2016-01/2017
Photography: Xia Zhi, Chen Hao, Vector Architects