Most traditional Taiwanese apartments feature long and narrow rooms, with only windows on the short side and no illumination on the long side, resulting in poor lighting in the center of the space. Situated in a quiet alley of Tianmu, the original house was old, leaking, dark, and fragmented. However, the designer, Szuti Tsai, recognized the unique characteristics of the surrounding lush green mountains and forests and therefore wanted to restore the innate potential of this space throughout his design.
With only one person living in the space, the layout was simple. Only needs one main bedroom, and the rest of the space was designed to meet essential living functions such as living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. By removing all the partitions and redistributing the layout, two parallel corridors were created with the advantage of front and back windows. The first corridor connects the bedroom with the dining room and living room following the entrance door, while the second features an extended balcony at the rear of the house. Between these two corridors, the kitchen, bathroom, and main bedroom are arranged with double-sided entrances, which allow for circulation throughout, creating a green landscape that reflects nature.
After entering the entrance, the first space is where the best sunlight and view of the house are. The designer desired to reserve the best view for the most valuable hours, that is, work and dining, and therefore planned this area as a dining and working area, enabling the homeowner to enjoy the most comfortable space when reading work-related research reports at home. Unlike most living rooms in Taiwan, this living room is located behind the dining room and adjacent to the main bedroom. With the gray flooring on the concrete wall and the round carpet that the owner brought back from India, everything in the home gradually begins to take on the occupants' flavor.
"It is not a stylistic challenge. It was meant to look like this,"
said Szuti, illustrating the symbiotic connection between the space and the environment and how by opening up the original layout, the facade of the home emerged. The spacious interior features pure white and concrete walls, with plywood panels on the surface of the cabinetry, whose native wood texture caresses the spaciousness, while a broad beam is balanced on the ceiling of the living room, with angled sloping wood panels sliding down toward the windows, directing the view to the luxuriant landscape outside, where the natural world is symbiotic with the interior.The color scheme of the entire residence is simplistic, but Tsai is not afraid of the blandness of the space, as no one's life is entirely empty, and there are bound to be many daily necessities or collections that will contribute to the depth of life and create visual focal points in the space, just like the colorful paintings painted by the homeowner on the walls creating punctuation. The room is simply a white canvas, waiting for the occupants to fill in their own colors little by little.