In hot and muggy urban Taiwan there's two important things you need in a house - air conditioning and security. London-based ROEWU architecture came up with a clever green solution for a family home in eastern Taiwan that involves a beautiful bamboo screen wrap. The screen is a more aesthetically pleasing version of the steel security bars found on most homes, and it allows windows to be open to aid natural ventilation. The Bamboo Forest House makes such good use of natural lighting and ventilation that the need for air conditioning is completely eliminated.
The family home is located on a tight and long narrow plot bordered on three sides by houses with shared walls — the only free opening is towards the street. In order to bring more daylight and fresh air into the three-story home, ROEWU designed the project as a series of volumes with gaps and voids. Sunlight shines in and bounces off walls and into all of the rooms, while the floorplan includes several double and triple-height void spaces that allow air to move up and out of the house, eliminating the need for air conditioning, which is a major consumer of electricity in Taiwan.
The three-story home contains six bedrooms, with dining, living and kitchen space on the ground floor and open air living spaces on upper floors. In the winter, when the weather is cooler, the family spends their time singing in the karaoke lounge and bathing in the spa on the second floor. In the summer, the family can enjoy the rooftop deck with a variably-patterned sun-shade system surrounded by bamboo that invites cooling breezes.
Many of the homes windows are open, so in order to enhance security ROEWU designed a bamboo screen wrap that covers the home, providing projection as well as a close connection with nature. Back in London, ROEWU used 3D design to determine the size and position of each bamboo pole and created a detailed list to give to the contractors on-site in Taiwan. The step-by-step instructions allowed the architects to translate a complicated design into a simple construction process for the workers.
The bamboo is connected to the home with unique concealed fixtures, which make the protective screen appear to float. The result of the detailed design is a beautiful bamboo-wrapped home filled with sunshine and fresh air. Being in the home is akin to being inside a bamboo forest, as the sun, light and air filter through the poles.
Images © ROEWU