The project is located in the south of Kaohsiung and is close to the 60-meter wide Shidai Avenue. The land allowed us to create a relatively complete living environment encompassing both a rest and dining space. The project occupies a wide stretch of land but unfortunately the nighttime lighting of this area in Kaohsiung is insufficient.
With the increasing awareness of climate change, one of the most common problems in urban areas is the “urban heat island.” These are areas within a city that are much hotter than those in the countryside. That is why I knew I had to create a place that would be an “urban cool island.”
At the main entrance of the restaurant, we deliberately created a bridge through the landscape pool to accentuate the mood of guests as they enter. The nearly 120-meter landscape pool gives a strong impression of the building and creates a connection between the building and the water. Surrounding the property are over 250 large trees further reducing the carbon emissions from the project. Furthermore, lots of greenery helps to filter out the light waves that so often disturb the eyes in the 21st century. Leaving us with that relaxing and comforting green light.
Materials need to be chosen because they are sustainable and reusable. I chose easily sourceable and replaceable materials. Ending up with a modest total of 75% usage of recyclable materials. By keeping the components of our projects modularized, detachable, recyclable and variable. We can achieve a spectacular looking building inside and out while protecting our environment. The inside of the restaurant is decorated in a minimalistic fashion with raw steel mesh and iron fencing to create individual units where guests may relax and enjoy their meals. Entering the restaurant you can see a large amount of wood used for decorative purposes. All of this wood is FSC certified meaning it was grown in a sustainable manner. Even this material was used in a ‘raw’ manner without varnishes or other chemical additives.
The space ratio is based mainly on the service function line, and the natural light that enters the indoor space. There is always the possibility that a large-sized dining space is prone to a lack of light and that indirectly causes indoor air convection problems. Therefore, placing the glass frame in the appropriate space along with some greenery, and making the space floor a permeable layer of the soil, in addition also increases the possibility of natural light entering the indoor space. Contrasting the artificial light source with the natural light source helps to blur the boundary between the interior and exterior space. The mechanical equipment required for energy generation has been placed in the mezzanine of the building. This means fewer pipes were used to cool the building because all essential locations are relatively close. The efficient flow of air manages to save energy and has created an environmentally sustainable operation.
Ken Lo is a well-known architect operating a boutique firm in the south of Taiwan. While having no formal training in architecture, in a relatively short time he has managed to assemble an impressive array of projects that have won numerous awards. Most recently he has been shortlisted for the Inside World Festival of Interiors. These days his projects are all energy-saving green buildings. This means that all his buildings ensure adequate ventilation and airflow to minimize the need for extra cooling. Within a building, the interweaving of natural light and artificial light provides a sense of stability in the indoor environment. Mr Lo's relationship with the green environment, architecture and interior space are all presented in his work. This bears similarities between people, life and living space. The thread of nature is something that he has held dear throughout his life and is something he hopes to carry forward into the future.