Architects: Arcadian Architecture＋Design
Location: Chung-li City, Taiwan
Architect In Charge: Alex Yu
Design Team: Jerry Chang、Kobe Lin、Ru-Hsien Huang、Cheng-hui Lo、Chiao-wen Lo、Hanawa Ho、Tzi-Jui Chiang
Client: Hai Hau Constructions
Area: 530 sqm
Photographs: Jeffrey Cheng
The project is located an hour drive distance from Taipei, in the city of Chung-li. It is a high-rise residential development along with public facility pavilion and landscaped courtyard.
In the early draft, the structure of the pavilion does not exist. The entrance and the public facilities were gathered in the center of a total of eight residential purposed buildings forming a 口 shape, all facing the center courtyard. The entrances of the buildings were difficult to realize, the layers of space and natural sunlight are insufficient in this courtyard.
Due to the project was designed to be the largest area and highest cost per square unit in the city, so we suggested to rearrange the original layout to seven buildings to form a ㄇ shape instead, leaving an opening to lead the natural sunlight in. Then we gathered more than 80% of the original public facilities, organizing them to form the great entrance pavilion. Which we locate it to the west side of the site, facing the most prosperous commercial areas. This successfully established a formal entrance and a series of public and open spaces displayed along the extended main axis.
To compete with the seven 22 stories high residential towers, an obvious and powerful entrance is a must. A concept of monolithic form was introduced to this design. The prototype of the pavilion is a 40mx21.4mx12.8m rectangular stone carved and cut with a concept of subtracting necessary void space, then embed with glass material, forming an interchanging stone-glass hybrid style of architectural form.
The edge of the stone frame on the front facade was slanted into inclined shape to enhance the image of entrance and to create variation of lights and shades of the great entrance. A 12m depth plaza was placed in front of the building to respond the scale of this building itself and the surrounding urban context. The main lobby contained in an 8m height glass curtain wall structure was placed on a reflecting pool with two 6m height waterfall planted on each side.
At a first glance of entering the main lobby, a 9m wide by 8m tall glass picture frame was encountered. Behind the picture frame, a 9m by 9m square water landscape was found, leading sufficient sunlight into the lobby. On the water landscape, a lift covered in chisel surfaced stone was placed as a visual focus. There are two main circulations. One is the corridors along both sides of the water landscape leading to the residential areas and the courtyard behind. Another is the skylight staircases franked on each side to reach the public facilities on the second and third floor.
The facade facing the courtyard contains a vertical and horizontal stone frame embracing a glass curtain wall structure inside. A tea house was placed on the first floor connecting directly to the outdoor. The second floor is a gym area with an open view facing the courtyard. On the third floor, a recessed rectangular glass box was placed behind the large frame, for leisure activities and casual reading purpose. A light well was opened in the middle of the glass box. There are patios on the front and back overlooking the streets and the courtyard. Since the pavilion is surrounded by high buildings, the glass material of the box was continued from vertical elevation to the horizontal roof top surface which formed a glowing box during night time. All stone materials on the vertical facade was extended continuously to the roof top as well. A different dimension of facade was created to look up the surrounding buildings.
The invisible axis line of the pavilion continues to the inside courtyard, a simple abstract style of landscaping vocabulary was aligned along the axis. The main route connecting to each residential buildings private entrance was arranged on the periphery of the center courtyard. At the end of the center axis, a great stone wall was placed with two spa houses in front as a background. The spa houses are adjacent with a 25m long infinity pool looking right back to the pavilion. After a sequence of spatial experience, a utopia hidden in the middle of urban jungle is now discovered in the center courtyard.