Strata Villa

Documenting a multi-generational legacy home

Strata Villa is a modern expression of the traditional siheyuan 四合院—a style of Chinese architecture commonly used in places of residence. It was designed to bring the old and new together, from the original structure and extension of the house, to the multi-generational family that calls it home. To document both the architecture and philosophy that form the foundations of Strata Villa, BLACK was tasked to design a publication that detailed the transformation of the house and personal anecdotes from homeowner Mr Lim.

The publication was intended to be a book of legacy that would be passed through the generations, as well as a gift to be distributed to friends. To ensure that it would be able to withstand wear and tear, we looked to traditional Chinese methods of book binding and presentation, which had helped to preserve old journals for centuries.

This informed the use of a book case, which makes for easy gifting and packages the publication as a treasured object. The Strata Villa logo is applied as a pattern that wraps around the case—a nod towards the motifs found on the cloth covers of classic Chinese journals. Inside, the book is bound using the exposed thread sewn method to express rawness and craftsmanship.

The design of the book was inspired by Strata Villa’s architectural form and interior palette. While the book cover symbolises the new extension of the house, the book case represents the compound’s existing colonial structure. A condensed serif font was selected for optimum legibility, while mirroring the long and narrow side elevation of the house.

The title of the publication is recreated on the book case in blind deboss
The subtitle sits on the sides of the book case in a pearl foil stamp finishing
The case is secured with an authentic bone clasp, similar to old Chinese book cases
Mirroring the various shades of oxidation observed in the layers of the earth, a copper foil stamp was used for the book title
As an ode to one of the prized pieces of marble in the house, a digitally treated photo of its grain was adapted to create the cover image for the book
A close up of the details, textures and patterns found in Strata Villa’s interiors, which informed the design of the book