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Jian Wai SOHO is located in the Central Business District of Beijing. Within the Jian Wai urban planning scheme, the SOHO Villas project that we designed sits in the middle of the overall site with no external roads leading to it. The area of one unit is 500 m2, consisting of three floors and a basement. This is relatively large in the context of the Jian Wai SOHO area. We struggled during the design phase, because whatever we suggested it got disapproved of, and we were asked to come up with more design possibilities. In the end we reduced the idea to a design that is a composition of space that can have any kind of programme, and we suggested a very simple form with two separate spiral staircases running through the four fl oor slabs. Since there are two staircases, variations can be created to customise this spatial composition; therebysignificantly increasing the fl exibility of use. For example, one staircase can be used for resident use and the other for shop and offi ce use; or one staircase for the owner and the other for the tenants.