Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Lee Family Residence in Chiayi county, Taiwan by Harmony-design Studio
June 18th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Harmony-design Studio
This is an old house renovation project. The original building was an early-style two-story house built over two decades ago. It is located in a rural area surrounded by vast sugarcane and rice fields. A tributary of Chianan Irrigation runs through the front of the building. In the back lies a folk religion temple with a good number of followers.
We spent almost a year discussing through email with our client, Dr. Lee, before we first met. Our main goal is to prolong the house’s life and to keep it in usage. Instead of renewing only the building itself, this project created a courtyard and a semi-outdoor space by setting up walls around it. As a result, it increases the volume of the building, which invites sunlight, water, wind and plants of different seasons to come into the space and transforms it into a home with nature.
Renovation of the original building
This project reserved most of the old Prussian blue kiln ceramic tiles featuring on the facades and replaced some with pebble-dash to accentuate the aged tiles’ color and texture. We also tore down the old stairs, part of partition walls as well as some floor slabs and built a puny courtyard inside. This provides a green view at the new stairs to the second floor. It also creates cross ventilation and brings sunlight indoors. The main purpose is to design a comfortable living space without airconditioning.
New construction around the old building
By adding three solid white building structures around the original building in different heights, we constructed a southward courtyard, in which a rainwater recycling pool was built to lower the summer heat. The thick concrete walls provide a strong barrier of the chilling north wind in winter. The white double-skin structures at the northwest corner serve as an independent guestroom as well as a solution to excessive sunlight in the afternoon. It also produces a beautiful shadow effect in the space. At the southeast corner, this project extended the interior to the former corridor and reformed the back façade towards the temple with a white wall.
Our intention of this project is to turn an abandoned building into a comfortable rural house. It is also our greatest hope to create compatibility between the old and the new and to see the house stand in harmony with the temple, the old trees, the waterway and the surrounding fields.
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