A Breathing Home
TYPE | residential
LOCATION | Taipei
YEAR | 2022
PHOTOGRAPHY | 隨寓
The site is located in the heart of Taipei City, in an old apartment building which preserves the traditional Taiwanese rustic-stone-washed-finish monolithic exterior walls, and encircling linear balconies that surround the building. Which are the most iconic architectural features of traditional Taiwansse residential buildings. Taiwan is located in a subtropical zone, with hot and rainy summers, cold and humid winters, such features can work as a great buffer between the interior and exterior, keeping heat and pouring rain out , cooling the air, creating a stable and comfortable inner environment . Therefore, the preservation and application of the encircling linear balcony is undoubtedly the most important mission of this project.
The first step of renovation was to reorganize the layout, to meet the new purpose and lifestyle. After removing all the dividing walls and redundant structures, the kitchen was relocated in the center of the house from the rear end, integrating the kitchen, dining and living space into one open and flexible area. A half-cantilever black volume embedded with the column is the kitchen island, it’s structural but also floating and airy, it’s strong presence stabilizes the overall airy light space
In the rooms next to the linear balcony, we created openings on the interface walls which work as direct accesses in between. The encircling linear balcony forms a full loop and links every space inside, it not only becomes the main route in the apartment, but also introduces the natural light in and keeps the whole space ventilatied fluently. With such unique and precious conditions, an airy and breathable home can be achieved.
At another side of the area, in between the studio and living space, we made a large opening on the wall and installed a huge metal sliding panel, this openable panel not only create a flexible relationship between the studio and living space, whose neon-reflective, eye-catching appearance also adds lots of drama to the overall clean and white space!
During the renovation process, the uneven edges of the partially demolised walls were kept, not only to record the renovation, but also in line with the design goal of creating a breathing and effortless space. Further, we also avoid any material application for solely decoration purposes, and use mainly natural materials and keep their original raw status. We use birch plywood for storage constructions like closet, shoe cabinets and bookcases, the cement board for walls, and bare concrete surface for the pillars. The whole flooring is applied on the same light gray tiles, which makes the whole space more extended and consistent, giving a sense of single big continuous space without specific zoning, which presents a humble background for the owner's valuable collection of vintage furniture, art and plants, which can be added slowly and effortlessly later on.