ABB LEAF GLOBAL AWARDS 2018 - SHORTLISTED
2A ASIA ARCHITECTURE AWARDS 2018 - THIRD PRIZE
A&D TROPHY AWARDS - SHORTLISTED
Formation by the forces of the weather is at the heart of this project for seven houses near Taipei. The site is on the edge of a bluff with forest below. Given the value of the site the client wished a very dense development. The distinctive forms of the houses allow wind to flow between them while courtyards induce vertical ventilation bringing a constant flow of cool air through the house. Internal air movement is encouraged through the use of double-height spaces. These houses are able to breathe, exchanging air with the surroundings, taking cool fresh air in from the forest.
Taiwan is a densely populated island with a population of 23 million squeezed onto an island, of which most is mountains and rainforest. This means that tightly packed dense developments are often needed on compact sites.
With an area of just 0.16 HA, this site was zoned to have 7 large houses in close proximity to each other. This creates issues not just of privacy and overlooking but also environmental issues to do with natural light and ventilation. To alleviate this, the project brings breezy airflow from the adjacent forested valley into the houses. The external form and internal layouts were adjusted to maximize natural ventilation of the interiors. Spaces are connected by courtyards and double-height voids, with skylights above, bringing light into the hearts of the houses. These outdoor/semi outdoor spaces are an “open canvas” for residents to define, changing their use in varying weather conditions.
A system of light-weight screens modulates the light and controls views both into and out of the buildings, and encourages users to leave the window open for airflow while maintaining privacy.
These houses represent a new paradigm in Taiwanese housing -moving away from the dark, artificially lit and cooled typology which has dominated since the mid-20th century to a new typology: A typology which is bright and breezy and has stronger connections to the weather and nature outside. Though densely packed and structurally solid they create an atmosphere of lightness and privacy -a welcome refuge from the busy city outside.
Tai Architect & Associates, Taichung with ROEWU as collaborative architects