This 50-year-old house is located in a high density residence area, with the typical design of three-story townhouse often seen in Taiwan. The main problems for this rectangular shaped house include poor daylight and the close proximity to neighbouring houses, which poses a privacy and security threat. Also, noises from nearby tourism attractions and night markets are a nuisance.
Considering the lack of privacy and good view, KC Studio decided to design this house inwards and upwards. The front of each floor is set back to form a buffering semi-outdoor space between streets and residence areas, and with the use of semitransparent expanded meshed openings on the façade the designers were able to set up boundaries while still introducing natural lighting, ventilation and rain to the inside. By removing partial ceilings and the use of atrium, these semi-outdoor spaces on three floors are linked, so the first-floor balcony will be used as doorstep with improved daylight, while the second-floor balcony plays the role of an extension to the kids’ corner with trees and plants and the main suite on third floor offers a garden view.
Lighting and ventilation were big factors for the wellness of the occupants. Through large windows located both at the front and the back, and the use of the atrium in the middle, sunlight can naturally flow into every corner of the house. The middle atrium uses glass to support the floor area and the surrounding stairs use perforated steel plate, allowing sunlight from above to go through. Also, the balcony at the back of the house is set back so the distance to the neighbouring houses is expanded from 40 cm to 90 cm. The toilet located at the back uses glass for partitioning to allow as much ambient light as possible.
Each floor is handled as an open plane. All cabinets are located against walls to maximize indoor floor area as the width of the house is only 370 cm. White wood floors are used and walls are finished with cement. Other materials used include stainless steel, wood and glass. The white/gray tones have create an authentic atmosphere while helping the reflection of sunlight into the house, as well as the refraction of lights created by the use of glass. The reinforcement of beams and columns is kept without intentional concealing, allowing existence of both the old structure and new elements and exhibiting the unique quality and atmosphere of this renovated old building.
Design by KC Studio
Info and images courtesy of KC Studio