Site. Cutting Corner is located on a busy alley in the Eastern District of Taipei. The client desired a commercial space that could accommodate shops, offices, cafes, and exhibitions. The greatest difficulty for this project was to effectively distinguish the public and private spaces while implementing a unique sectional design that highlights the activities on the alley. While the client leaned towards a bold and elaborate design, we found ourselves facing the challenge of connecting an elaborate design to its surroundings. As space is located on a hotspot in the alley, we took on the challenge of finding new design methods that would both an honor and enhance the street façade of Taipei city.
Cutting Corner. Based on the connection between spaces and neighbourhood, we derived the concept of “Cutting Corner.” Like a tunnel, our goal was to “cutout” a lane in an old business district, diagonally cutting through a building, and splitting it into two. Using metal panels as partitions items, shops, offices, cafes, and exhibition space are formed. The overall theme color is white, where the white metal brings out the natural lighting. The window walls connect the inside to the outside, and the bright corridors become part of the city streetscape, making it the highlight of the busy alley.
Architectural Language. The design pulls the language of architecture inwards. It takes the architectural façade concept and infuses it into the interior design. Using subtractive methods of peeling away layers, we expose the structure and elements of the building. The metal plate partitions resonate with the angles of the corridors and can be transformed into metal shelving to exhibit various products.
New between Old. We took on the challenge to refrain from changing the façade of the street. In reverse thinking, while preserving traces of old buildings over 30 years old, we infused modern metal elements in such a way that honors the past but also puts forth a new way to design for the future.