Traditional cave dwellings in China, often referred as Yaodong, have been passed down from generations as they have proven to be superior in harsh environments particular to Inner Mongolia. Their unique typology has protected generations from the harsh tundra climate and the burning summers by providing thermal performance superior to those that reside on the surface. Likewise, local fauna has evolved to reside below the surface to survive, such as the Mongolian toad, or as Mongolians refer it, guroot, which is known to hibernate through the winter in 1-2 meter deep holes.
Inner Mongolia has had a long tradition of tribesmen dependant on nomadic lifestyles moving their herds in search for better grasslands and campsites. Even today, a large percentage of Mongolians still subside in the steppes and follow a nomadic lifestyle. Today we find ourselves in a world of increased mobility in which transportation networks permit endless possibilities of travel for work, living, and pleasure we remain connected. In this new real of mobile populations, merchandise, and in formation, a new breed of nomads arises, dependant on the environments they travel much like the traditional nomads.
Gimme Shelter moves away from the temporality of nomadism but maintains the underlying principal of nomadic dwellings; which is to shelter from detrimental climatic conditions. The Villa responds not only to site specificity but attempts to provide a unique shelter for the modern nomad. Cues have been abstracted from sand-dune morphology and generation into the formal expression of the villa. Gimme Shelter submerges itself into the landscape, providing warmth through the winter and cool air during the summer.