Himin China Solar Valley: Venus Villa – Design 2

Venus villa 2 Sketch
Venus villa 2 Sketch

Project description, images, and drawings

Design: Guenter Eger, archetmedia Guangzhou
Architect: Guenter Eger for Beijing HOPA International Consulting Co., Ltd.
Location: Sun-Moon Mansion, Solar Valley Road, Economic Development Zone, Dezhou City, Shandong, P. R. China
山东皇明太阳能房地产有限公司,Shandong Himin Solar Real Estate Co., Ltd,Ltd, Dezhou City, Shandong, P. R. China
Project Area:
2,700 sqm
Project Year: 2009
Renderings: Guenter Eger, archetmedia Guangzhou


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See also part 1 for the details. In Phase 2 Himin changed the program for the VIP guest villa almost completely. Still the building’s standard should follow 5 star hotels. Still the design must follow the ancient Chinese principle of the five elements (Wu Xing). Still this villa is connected with the element metal, which is also associated with the planet Venus, the direction West, the color white and many other things.

But now the size of the building increased from 500 sqm to 2700 sqm. It changed from a small guest house with 4 guest rooms to a small hotel with 21 guest rooms, additional 2-story suite at the roof level, elevator, lobby, breakfast room, kitchen and gymnasium.
It seemed, Himin expected far more guests in the future, especially for their 2010 International Solar Cities Congress (ISCC).

So I adapted my design.

Principle Concept

The entrance to the building is no longer from the north side, it is now part of the circulation, which is an transverse element, dividing the building into North and South. The West facade has an entrance protected under a bay window. The East facade houses the vertical circulation. Between this 2 elements lies the horizontal circulation with an lightwell and an elevator. The change of the entrance pleased my feelings: Emphasizing the West side of the building fitted much better to the material metal, as it is reflected in the Chinese principle of the five elements.

The inclination disturbs the massiveness of the huge chunky cube. It contradicts the stability and opens the building to the sun.

To maximize the energy efficiency of the sun harvesting South facade, a reflecting water pool is placed in front of the building. The photovoltaic panels are completely distributed evenly over this facade. Thus the view is filtered from the inside to the outside and the elements also work as sun shades. Therefore an additional sun shading is not necessary.


Because of the size limitations of Light Gauge Metal Stud Framing, I changed the structure to a more conventional steel structure with hot-rolled profiles. This allowed me to design a bigger breakfast room and a generous 2-story living room for the presidential suite.The construction allows flexible planning, fast mounting and satisfiable insulation.

Again this design was planned according to the German Passivhaus standard (Passive house standard). The renewable energy sources are solar collectors and photovoltaic cells. Also a geothermal heat pump was planned. The client agreed to built a central system for the small number of neighbouring villas. This is more efficient, as if one erects a geothermal system for each villa.

I cared to produce no thermal bridges in my design. Starting with insulating the baseplate, walls, facades, overhanging parts, balconies, roof and roof terrace. Of course I would have preferred to show my metal structure in the facade, but after consequently insulating the outside surface, my structure was completely hidden. Fire protection did the rest to the inside!

Every detail is planned in 3D. One can explore the connections of the building in real time. Make different group of parts (like surface, insulation, steel structure,…) visible or even make a three-dimensional cut through the computer building model.


The client was in a big hurry. The 2010 International Solar Cities Congress (ISCC) came closer and closer, the workload was rising more and more. But still my contract covered a villa with 500 sqm, not 2,700 sqm. A villa over 5 times bigger than before is of course also much more work. Like everywhere on the world (?) an architect earns more money, the larger the project is. So I asked for an upgrade of our contract, AFTER I already went on working on it.

Unfortunately the client refused my demand. I agreed to give them a set of plans, to get paid at least a fraction of the money, we agreed on our old contract.

I was sad about this ending. I liked this project and I already invested many hours in it. The money I got, paid out my engineers and energy specialists from Germany and China.

What they had done with my plans, you can see in the last episode of this posting.

Story Episodes

Initial Real-Time 3D Model

Design 1

Design 2 (this post)

Photoghraphs of the built building