Renovated Apartment by Archlin Studio: Chen Residence
Chen Residence is located in Taipei, Taiwan, offering views of picturesque Mt. Shamao. This chic apartment was renovated by Archlin Studio.
A 40 years old apartment situated in Yangming National Park at Mt. Shamao which is famous for its hot springs and scenic landscape.
The apartment has an amazing view of picturesque Mt. Shamao from its windows but the apartment was very heavily partitioned by either walls or columns that obstructed the line of sight to the windows from most parts of the house.
The apartment was tired and the fittings were either falling apart or were extremely outdated.
The clients are empty-nester grandparents who are very dedicated to their three grandchildren.
The apartment was acquired by the clients due to their fondness of the natural beauty of the area and had a mission of transforming it into an open living space to make the space seem bigger, but also for visiting grandchildren to play freely and safely. In addition, the space has to maintain a good level of privacy for overnight visitors.
The client intends to occupy the space as a weekend holiday house and is likely to visit the holiday apartment with their grandchildren.
On our first visit of the apartment, we were overwhelmed by the sweeping view of Mt. Shamao from every windows of the apartment.
Although the site is surrounded by amazing scenery, the internal space was divided by existing columns that fragmented and separated the apartment into pockets of spaces which meant that line of sight to the windows were obstructed from most parts of the apartments
We knew right away that the biggest asset of the apartment is its natural surroundings and the mission is therefore to come up with a design that connects the natural space outside with the internal space and maximize the amount of point of sights from the house to the windows and in return maximizing the amount of natural light permeating through the apartment
The mission is to achieve this objective by design and choice of materials.
To overcome the previously fragmented pockets of restrictive spaces, we remove solid walls in the living area and built movable see-through bookcases between the study and the kitchen which effectively defines the spaces without closing off one from another
The see-through bookcase also in effect allows a good view of the windows from the kitchen.
Similar strategies are implemented for the two bedrooms at the back of the apartment. Sliding timber veneer panels are used to substitute traditional solid doors between the two bedrooms to introduce flexibility in the configuration of the bedrooms.
The sliding panels can be opened up to effectively combine the two bedrooms into one large room, perfect for when the grandchildren visits. Alternatively, two bedrooms can have their own sliding panels closed to maintain privacy if required.
A series of large timber frames was chosen to replace the metal mullions windows to effectively put the picturesque view into a suitable frame which creates the illusion of a “live artwork”. And because most parts of the apartment’s exposure to the windows has been maximized, the clients are able to now enjoy the views from every corner of this apartment.
In addition to bringing in of the outside into the house from an aesthetic perspective, the large windows also allows natural ventilation and at the same time providing maximum sunlight to the apartment.
Finally, low key color tones and natural interior materials and finishes are used and being repeated in the space, such as timber veneer and natural stones; all combined to create an apartment that fits comfortably in its tranquil surrounds.”
Photos by Edwin Chen