top of page


Project by Saul Kim, Raul Alfaro, Derek Yen

Advisor: Eric Owen Moss

Principal of Eric Owen Moss Architects
Distinguished Faculty at SCI-Arc

SCI-Arc Option Studio Spring 2018

Dali City, China

Featured on SCI-Arc 2018 Spring Show


Domi-Tower at Dali City aims to recreate the organizational system of traditional housing around its context. Strong belief in Fengshui has led to inefficient layout of sub-urban areas of Dali. Idea of vertical courtyard is introduced to solve the problem of courtyard orientation. The site is located between a hotel and a hill, which leads to a parking site. The project also aims to resolve the missing connection between the two context, by animating the mass to climb up the hill. Multiple U-shaped houses are put vertically to intersect and create repetitive modular blocks. Spaces are no longer bounded by walls and are open to vertical courtyards which spread across the site.


The entire project is oriented to lead people from hotel site to the parking site, creating intimacy and connectivity between sites that were previously separated by roads. Each ‘towers’ are separated yet connected by horizontal blocks. This allowed efficient program distribution (auditorium, retail, office, viewing deck). The in-between spaces naturally turned into semi-outdoor communal spaces.

The ‘bubble’ was later introduced to encapsulate the three middle towers, creating larger indoor spaces with atriums.

Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Section Drawing

Main Section -  connection from hotel (left) to parking area (right)

Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Floor Plan 1

Third Floor Plan - retail, office, lobby

Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Floor Plan 2

Fifth Floor Plan - viewing deck, auditorium, cafe

Massing Step 2
Massing Step 1

Perspective showing the bridge-like massing connecting multiple sites

Five U-shaped houses are raised vertically and placed on the site in a way that it links the existing hotel to the parking lot at South end. They follow a radiating grid to “animate” itself, almost as if the building is climbing up the hill. They are then connected with a direct circulatory path. Unlike the conventional U-shaped houses in Dali City, this project explores a new orientation that could free the circulation and space.

Eric Owen Moss took a piece of tissue and started to stuff it in-between the individual massing. He then said, “Now they are connected”.

Spaces between three main towers (2,3,4) are engulfed by a foreign shape, a bubble. The towers no longer have clear distinction between what is outdoor and indoor. The outside of the outside becomes outside of the inside.

Main structural frames of the bubble follows the existing structural grid of the towers. The form of towers and bubbles seem to look separate and different, but they share enough congruent aspect to be read as a whole.

Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Sectional Model 1

Sectional model of Domi-Tower

Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Sectional Model 2
Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Sectional Model 4
Saul Kim / Domi-Tower - Sectional Model 3

Sectional model Images

bottom of page