Soar Design Studio Office / Soar Design Studio
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Text description provided by the architects. This building is a 4-story residential building of 35 years in a townhouse community. The idea of “flow” enables human use and natural feeling, as the diversified and flowing space improves communication and information exchange, facilitating mood switches for work or use scenarios. The large open windows bring in the light, while trees reduce heat. The skylight enables a vertical and free flow of light for different settings and views. Changes in nature can be felt even indoors.
To create space, we had to start with a program and assign the space and style randomly. This project yet overturns the rule, allowing the concept of space and the spirit of place to precede, so that things may follow as or out of expectation. There is no fixation on place nor function in nature: when people walk into nature, the space and function arrive naturally; when they leave, the form and function disappear. Such illustrates the possibility of the natural space. By removing the functions and creating the flow of nature, we pull off the possibilities and imaginations for creation.
Breaking away from the residential layout and divisions, we focus on the theme of “forest and nature”. By adding the spatial hints of the forest, where things flow and change, we bring in the sense of natural vibrancy indoors, such as the always flowing water, the changing shadows from trees and light, and the flexible use of the open and free space.
The Design Points. Impressions of the forest are brought in to simulate ecology in an abstract way for the feeling of nature： The patio restores the outdoor environment, bringing the impressions of mountains indoors. We work with artists to merge sunken wood, rocks, and various native species of mountain plants into a picture, blurring the sensorial boundary of in and out. The organic presentation of pillars and volumes, as well as the irregular shape of the teahouse, simulate the ridges made of stones and wood panels. The deja vu of a forest is illustrated in abstract and figurative ways. Vertical lines then balance the organic curves, toning down the rough and romantic wildness. Balancing the old and the new, the beauty of space is catalyzed by time. The space and behaviors are expected to grow, expand and flow, moving closer to nature in its use and traits.
Reset the physical layout to transform the constraints of townhouses for more fluidity in the space: Leveraging natural techniques proposed by the firm— microclimate, porosity, openness, freedom, flow, and the introduction of nature— the design speaks to the design ideal of creating a highly fluid, diverse, and multipurpose living/working space by transforming the physical environment and use of Taiwanese materials and natural techniques. Echoing the unique timelessness of the old house, we create a sense of time via objects, design, and blank space.
In a novel approach, materials of old Taiwan are integrated into the building, making it timeless： To embody the essence of an old house, a variety of materials representing Taiwan are used. Inspired by the shellfish pieces embedded in the walls of old coastal buildings in Taiwan, we add oyster shells into the base paint, saluting the spirit of local use. The choice of semi-opaque jade for the terrazzo floor allows the floor to take on a different appearance as time and light darken.