Chen Minshuku / TSDesign

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Brick, FacadeChen Minshuku / TSDesign - WindowsChen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, BedroomChen Minshuku / TSDesign - WindowsChen Minshuku / TSDesign - More Images+ 26

Tainan City, Taiwan
  • Architects: TSDesign
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area:  132
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year:  2012
  • Photographs
    Photographs:Tsai Tsung-Sheng
Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Door, Brick, Facade, Courtyard
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Text description provided by the architects. TSDesign group tried to reverse house’s axis by using old red-brick、old wood beam and modern materials, to match nearby human characters. Architecture style, materials, historical memory which form Tainan’s local architectural characters. 

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Facade, Handrail, Courtyard
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Designer’s ideas
First meet with client who already had a whole house demolition license, discussed about the old house demolition, design and construction commissioned. The 50 years old house, except for only one meter wide roadway connection, the roadway is only three meters wide, demolition and construction works will be very difficult. In addition, client enjoy her childhood and also want to memorial their father’s trace here, we feel spatial reuse would be a better idea.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Facade, Handrail, Beam
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

The formation of the space are based on the memory and the environment. Four intervals between the elongated old housing were preserved, but the old house surrounded by other houses, no appropriate gap in between.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Stairs, Door, Beam, Handrail
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

1. We removed the decadent old roof tiles and trusses, and also elevated accommodation units to the second floor, then guest rooms can have better view.
2. Change the third room into atrium which distinguished public and accommodation areas, and also added the interior landscape.
3. Protrudes from the space in front of the former storage room and toilet reserved changed to the outdoor Star-bar and extending friendship District, its roof by the way also becomes the exclusive landscape terrace of the second floor guest room.
4. Interval steel pallets on the second floor, to let the sunlight shone.
5. Water sander expose old red-brick wall which is belong to past times.
6. Old window and frame reappear their rustic texture by wearing away windows’old paint.
7. Lower down back building to avoid roof corner aim at neighbor’s house which is bad for “Feng shui”.
8. Hidden aircondition units and water tower to backside, avoid disturbance from equipments.
9. Furniture and memories of the 60-year history, also new and also old spaces, endue old house a new life, which is a wonderful continuation.
10. Between the memory and the new, we seems did a lot, seems did nothing.  

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Brick, Beam, Facade
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Living with old house must keep a following attitude. Actions cannot swagger between past and present, but must be accurate and effective. All design skills are hidden in the old house.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Sofa, Wood, Stairs, Shelving
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Change the third room into atrium which distinguished public area and accommodation areas, added to interior landscape and also enhance ventilation and lighting.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Table, Windows, Shelving, Beam
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Design Process  
Pitched roof construction of the original building as a single-layer design, we decided to add a second floor light steel structure, dug a new foundation from the first floor slabs, light weight steel structure independent of the old brick house, avoid old the gables alone bear the new load of the second floor.  

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Facade, Courtyard
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Sacrifice the third room, converted into a the outdoor atrium,design team wish to retain traces of the original roof trusses, let people know this court used to be an indoor room. Therefore deliberately keep the beam cross-section of about 15cm, which cross section can also be too much trouble for seepage surface, particular strengthen waterproofing is needed, also led to a lot of construction troubles.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Facade
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Design team convince clients to use hollow grille plate for the second floor slabs, to ensure ventilation and lighting on the first floor, the idea is from Tainan rainy season is only a month, but it can have a comfortable environment for other 11 months, although the rainy day will cause inconvenience but this sacrifice is worth.

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Facade, Handrail, Windows
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

The main difficulties of the old house renovation project is waterproofing works, in particular, we want to expose the red brick texture. The original plan was to use a matting transparent waterproof paint, but in the process of paint trying, unexpectedly used varnish waterproof paint which form plastic film. It’s a safer way for waterproof. Nevertheless, the leaking points of the old house are still omnipresent. We totally modify five times.


To avoid negative affect for exterior look by new air-condition equipments and new water supply&drain system. 

Chen Minshuku / TSDesign - Windows, Bed, Bedroom
© Tsai Tsung-Sheng

Share drainage channels over 50-years which cause overall flow insufficient, new drain system improve it but will impact exterior look, hence, using elegant drowning chain can solve drain issue and also create beautiful landscape.

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About this office
Cite: "Chen Minshuku / TSDesign" 30 Nov 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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