Our client has operated a gravel transport company for over 30 years and would like the family business to be passed on to the next generation. In Taiwanese culture, it is common to live on the same site as one’s place of business. My very own architecture firm is another example of this as I live above my office. Our client hopes to create a home for their children to grow and learn more about this industry, while providing them with a well-designed, family friendly, living space.
This project is located in one corner of Taiwan - the suburbs of Pingtung where the temperatures can reach 38°C in the summer. Taiwan’s central mountain range, adjacent to the site, directs wind flow from the steep terrain to flat land depending on the season. This area also has an abundance of groundwater. The location was chosen as it is near the highway. This was necessary to allow easy access for the gravel transport business. For the layout of the house, we have split the land into two main sectors: one for living and one for working. The trucks and other vehicles are placed on opposite sides of the property, while the house is placed in a natural enclave, surrounded by an abundance of trees and plants.
We have allocated space between the house and the truck transport to serve as a barrier by creating a natural filter of soil, slopes, hills, and trees. This will reduce environmental pollution, improve general air circulation, and reduce noise. We use the raised mound to form a noise shielding angle, which largely reduce the impact on the living environment. The trees themselves filter the dust. However if not properly removed, dust could still pose a problem for the residence. To resolve this, we have taken advantage of the frequent afternoon rainfall.A sloping roof top uses a water recycling system to trap stormwater runoff while causing any particulate dust to gently glide off the residence, keeping it clean and cool.
The warehouse and landscape guide the summer wind from a side channel to avoid carrying pollution in from the work area. The layout of this plan contains a concave area which redirects the wind flow in order to improve cross ventilation for the building. In the winter, the wind will come in from the north, meaning it will reach the living area first. The tops of the trees provide shade and the lower elevation of the structure directs cold air into the residence. Additionally, fans have been placed on the upper floor to guide the flow of air and improve the cooling capacity of the residence. The roof has been lengthened to decrease the residents’ exposure to direct sunlight. This helps keep the structure cool, reducing the need for an air conditioner. We also utilize a double layer wall, creating a passive cooling system. Through thermal buoyancy, hot air flows upwards and is redirected away from the structure. This causes less impact from harsh weather on the interior of the house. The steel structure is moisture resistant, a necessity in a tropical climate, and easy to use for modular prefabrication and recycling. In contrast to the past, modern residences demand variety in their entry and exit points, both for convenience and to add differentiation to life. Adding lively minor changes in one’s routine has been found to benefit mental health.
Throughout the entire process of the integration of residential space with a commercial industry business, we set out to create a place of refuge from the harsh elements of the gravel industry. We believe we have created a home that is unique, robust, and timeless.
In 1996, Keng-Fu Lo established Chain10 with the purpose of combining cutting-edge design and research. The firm operates in every sector of design, with each project encompassing climate-focused and sustainable principles and design that integrate internal and external spaces to create harmonious settings. He believes it is important to build connections between people and the environment and strives for consistency in his designs, from architecture to the interiors. Mr. Lo’s degree in clinical psychology from Kaohsiung Medical School and his consciousness of climate change has helped guide his emphasis on the relationship between people, life, and space and allowed his designs to best suit the human experience while not interrupting the environment.
While having no formal training in architecture, he has managed to assemble an impressive array of projects that have won over 220 awards, including the World Architecture Festival Award and the IIDA Global Excellence Award.