Life in the city is something that everyone tries to escape. It is full of cars, noises and things that assault our senses. By stepping out of our comfort zone, we gain the ability to try a new lifestyle. The property is adjacent to the low-density residential area of the Agongdian Reservoir in mountains of Kaohsiung. In front of the property, there is a private 6 meter road that takes into account privacy and the safety of vehicles entering and exiting. The building is 6.5 meters away from the road. A green slope was created under the suspended wall on the second floor of the main building facing the southward hilly land. The natural grassy slope in the courtyard echoes the greenness of the hillside slope. A number of Taiwanese beech trees were also planted to further enhance the greenness of the property.
With this project, we wanted to go further with its connection to the environment. Due to the location of the residence, we knew there would be numerous local wild animal and insect species. A typical project like this would usual cause a lot of disruption to their habitats. The size of the building also affects the combination of internal and external lighting. What I could do was minimize the effect of the internal physical lighting. This lighting has been positioned in such a way that it doesn’t disturb the habitats in the area. It is not overly bright but also provides sufficient light during the day and night for its occupants.
The dramatic changes in climate have become the primary problem faced by the citizens of the globe. The choice of this particular property takes into account the heat island effect that is common in metropolises. The slope near the reservoir allows us to easily feel the temperature difference between the city center and the more natural location. Here, we factored in the typical south- westly wind direction during summer. This wind combined with the facade is why the building is much cooler and requires less usage of electricity to keep it cool. The building windows are aligned in a north-south direction to allow the air to circulate while obtaining indoor light. The east-west building facade follows a suspended shape to increase the shaded coverage and avoid direct sunlight. During winter, the hills block the cold wind. The direction combined with the suspended nature of the building means there is great air circulation which benefits the residents in a hot climate like Taiwan.
A large number of green trees around the building take into the location of the property and attempt to address carbon neutrality. At the same time, this manages to create shade and filter the ambient air quality. They are natural air filters which means that the air that exits the dense foliage is often cleaner and creates great air circulation in the garden. The exterior of the building is made of breathable and environmentally friendly paint with galvanized steel. The interior design is not extravagant and tries to remain ethical and sustainable. Environmentally-friendly recycled materials have been extensively used so the structure is easily alterable. The reduced carbon emissions are expected to preserve more of the planet for the next generation.
The south-facing hilly green slopes situated in the courtyard extends the public space for the family. Over time, the movement of the trees creates light and shadow in the yard which brings a liveliness to the residents. We have tried to ensure that as much natural light enters the room through the large floor-to-ceiling windows. This means that we only need a small number of artificial light sources. As time goes by, the owners can directly feel the difference of light, reminding us to cherish the beauty of the moment.
Comfort in Context by Keng-Fu Lo in Taiwan won the WA Award Cycle 33. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.
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