This stunning, light-filled family home in the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan combats the sweltering urban tropical heat with a design that promotes airflow throughout the structure. The Urbanwasabi-designed transformation project also aids the flow of occupants' movements from space to space, connecting and separating so they "can either share or spare moments on their own." Set in a densely populated city alleyway, the four-story House F is also remarkable in that it sits on a site measuring only a little over 110 square meters (1,184 square feet).
A major challenge of the renovation project for architect Fang Wei’s team was how to capitalize on the lushly vegetated city views to the site’s west without opening the home to the harsh afternoon sun. Originally a typical Taiwanese single-family dwelling, the home’s central staircase design was blocking airflow and light, while compartmentalizing all the living areas. To improve on this, the team examined their approach to the home’s interior walls and used differing shapes and materials, such as glass, concrete or even voids, to create various layers of privacy or openness.
Air circulation was significantly improved through reorganizing the bathroom and sundeck and creating organically shaped rooms. Each room now has windows that promote natural ventilation horizontally through the house. When these are combined with the openings between floors, a dynamic airflow develops to naturally cool the building. By setting back the exterior wall a full two meters across the western facing sundeck, the house is shaded from the afternoon heat and privacy is gained for the adjacent bathroom. The covered area provides a place to air dry clothes in inclement weather, and the bathroom can remain open to reduce the build up of humidity.
The home retains space for a contemplative, minimalist garden at the ground-floor entrance, and also enjoys views over the city’s tropical greenery. When combined with a choice of contemporary light filled spaces to suit either quiet solo activity or family engagement, the end result is a fresh and functional, climate-sensitive home that makes excellent use of natural ventilation and passive solar design.
Via Arch Daily
Images by Urbanwasabi