Over the recent one to two decades, the pattern of people's relationship with architecture has gradually reshaped, whereas in the past, more than three generations of families lived together, nowadays, due to the different social backgrounds of the times, parents and children are now living together as two generations. Because of such changes, architects are prompted to reconsider family spaces.
Before its renovation, this 60-year-old ancestral home of the Ho family was a Minnan-style house from the 1940s and 1950s, with a single-story living area and a pattern of washed stones and stripped cabbage flowers on the walls. Two decades ago, the owner, Mr. Ho, bought the land around the house and planned to merge it for construction; however, because of his Buddhist devotion and respect for his ancestors, he had to follow the divine instructions to preserve the overall appearance during the renovation. Mao Sen Jiang confessed that he was troubled by this for a long time. With the premise of not altering the exterior, it would not be easy to accommodate the structure of the old house to convert from one floor to three floors. As a result, with the owner's consent, Mao went to the gods and asked two questions: "Can the floor be re-done while the exterior is preserved?" and "Can the ceiling be re-done while the exterior is preserved?" which both received divine confirmation. Thus, the design team dug the foundation and built the structure underneath the exterior of the old house. New beams were added along the original walls to raise the second and third floors. At the same time, the temple's original builder was brought in to renovate the original Minnan-style building on the first floor, with the first and second floors in béton brut and the third floor showing the original ancestral house.
Upon completion of the renovation of the building, there was no interior planning. Eighteen years later, the owner expressed his desire to return to his ancestral home and transform it into a building with cultural heritage and asked for a new interior plan. Since the owner's children had grown up and had a large family, the ancestral home could hardly accommodate such a flourishing population. Therefore, the new layout eliminated some of the old space and planned for a master bedroom, a guest room, and a maid's room, and the rest space will create several tea rooms for the owner to invite his friends to enjoy tea.
"Learning from the past, incorporating the present, and marching together into the future" is the core of this building. After 60 years, this house has many scenes of old and new coexisting, just like the spirit of Wabi-sabi, integrating the ancient culture into the new modern life. The owner is one of the leading collectors of art tea sets in Taiwan and has long wished to meet friends in this place. The large table on the first floor is 7.5 meters in length, and the 1.5 cm thick Taiwan red cypress. That was driftwood found during the flood, can accommodate 20 people at a time to enjoy tea, and is combined with an open living room and a center island kitchen to create a spacious gathering space. On the second floor are the master bedroom and the worship hall, while on the third floor, there is another tea room and guest room with a view of the landscape. A three-story waterfall in the outdoor garden brings the building and space to life with water flow. With the sound of the water flowing incessantly, the interior landscape settles with the sunlight and air, creating a bright, comfortable, and tranquil experience.
The re-planning of the interior space was also a way to look back at the construction methods of 20 years ago and to examine whether the choice of building materials was correct. Apart from some parts that needed to be readjusted, the choice of original materials, stone, and béton brut was still the appropriate concept to continue the building into the next century so that the Ho residence and the tea culture could be passed on from generation to generation.