Architects: HAO Design
- Area : 250 m²
- Year : 2021
Manufacturers : Ligne Roset, Original BTC, Panum Rover, Sigurd Ressell, d-Bodhi
- Designer : Ivan Chen
- Video : Min Chen
- Interior Styling : HAO's Life
- Country : Taiwan
Text description provided by the architects. The traditional co-living form of three generations under one roof has evolved to meet changing family structures. The co-living form of one generation or two generations has become common nowadays. Modern living now prioritizes independence. Even the elders now desire their own personal living spaces, while younger members live nearby to care for them. As a result, modern housing is being reimagined to meet these needs of the modern living style. The common area is on the first floor, while the second floor contains the bedrooms, and the third floor includes a patio and ancestor shrine. The long layout of townhouses created an unavoidable challenge in introducing light to the center of the building. The owners also desired a piece of land so that they could accompany their children to get touch the soil, grow vegetables, and enjoy the changing seasons. Where there is a land of green, there is light.
With this in mind, I designed the layout centered on the green land with family living areas around in this narrow and long space. The design concept is akin to the “tiânn” (yard) in Sanheyuan. Tiânn is the place for grain drying, bouquet, and family communication in the early times. Compared to the openness in the past, the tiânn-like land here is more hidden, serving as a modern Sanheyuan. The lobby, living room, kitchen, dining room to tatami room correspond to the main building and “protecting dragons” (hùlóng, the wings of Sanheyuan) on the left and right of the traditional residence, enclosing the “tiânn” exclusively to the family. With various window styles and the retreating layout, the light is led into the rooms and nature is within reach.
At the entrance, a tree in the tiânn can be seen through a partially elevated floor-to-ceiling window, providing a sense of ritual for coming home. The air-tight door on the side is the entrance into the green land. Downstairs, the open kitchen on the corner features a whole fixed window without extra lines of window frames. One can have a panoramic view from the window as if he or she is watching a painting changing with time. The tatami room/guest room has a lower window, allowing natural light from tiânn to filter in, creating a serene and laid-back atmosphere. The backyard garden with plants on the board allows sunshine and greenery everywhere. Ascending the stairs to the private space on the second floor, the inner courtyard expands throughout the entire building, from the horizontal surface to the vertical elevation. The tree in the tiânn-like courtyard can be admired from windows on three different levels, and its verdant foliage is visible even from the master bathroom’s bay window, lending a romantic atmosphere.
The open space between the staircases serves a design purpose, allowing the natural beauty of the courtyard to connect the master bedroom and two children's rooms. The void is also open to the penthouse on the third floor, providing a corner space for an ancestor shrine or a buffer space for future use. The patio invites natural light to pour into the second floor, illuminating the area. After finalizing the interior layout, I shifted my focus from the inside to the outside of the building. To create a sense of clear anticipation, I designed the front yard by retracting the body of the building and withdrawing a relatively hidden corridor, suggesting a beautiful world behind the door. The owner’s preference for the color gray and metallic elements served as my inspiration, resulting in neat modernist lines and personalized imaginative shapes on the facade of the house. In addition to the hard facade, a soft curve was added to subtly convey the image of the oblique roof from Sanheyuan.
The façade’s texture is comprised of raw concrete-effect plaster and anodized metal corrugated sheets. The roughness of the raw concrete, which features faux wood grain created by searing the wood grain onto the concrete surface, and the elegance of the misty silver corrugated sheets create a visually striking contrast. The stairs are paved with rusted iron pattern tiles, which differ from the expression of the metal pattern on the corrugated sheets. Although the materials themselves seem common, they are presented in a fresh and innovative way, giving them a unique and distinctive appearance. The walls of the house are coated with smudged concrete plaster, and the ground is paved with terrazzo.
For partial decoration, kiln-glazed variant tiles in bright colors and tiles with faux old wood grain add a vivid color scheme to the gray space. Additionally, the space is distinguished and alternated by the varying height differences of the lowered floor. The furniture and lighting is centered on metal expressions, which the owners prefer, and are accompanied by the warm tones of wood and leather to harmonize the cold and warm tones. The partition between the lobby and living room is a custom-made piece of compound furniture created by a metalsmith. By transforming the common TV wall into furniture, the multi-functional partition can store a television, visual and audio equipment, shoes, and keys. The recycled teak dining table and mottled wood grain tiles complement the silver touches of technology from the stainless kitchen wares and aluminum pendant light, creating a balance between warm and cool tones. Camping items are blended into the tatami room, adding a leisurely touch.