- Architects: Create + Think Design Studio
- Location: Taipei City, Taiwan
- Design Director: Arthur Ho
- Designer: Nicole Chang
- Area: 232.0 sqm
- Project Year: 2013
- Photographs: Figure x Lee Kuo-Min Studio
- Site Supervisor : Ying Chou
One To Three
Desirably situated in proximity to Keelung River and a small park directly in front, the property is enveloped on two sides by an L-shape sliding glass doors, with a balcony to enjoy the view of Keelung River in the distance or the greenery of the park down below.
As the total floor plan resembles approximately a perfect square, the long wood cabinet transfigures this single space from one to three distinctive sections: the relaxation space wrapped by the sliding doors, the sleeping quarter of master and guest bedroom, and the culinary area of kitchen and wine cellar.
Lounging in front of the cabinet structure and facing out toward the glass doors, this space of relaxation is encased, like a box full of surprises, by concrete ceiling and floor. Serving as the main visual focus and a contrast in texture, the upside down U-shaped stainless-steel central island adds cool sexiness to the warmth from the grain pattern of the cabinetry. The warmth of the wood stretches from the entrance to the reading area.
As the steel structure expands into an elongated bar, the doors of the cabinetry open in various ways to reveal the multi functions hidden behind, such as music equipment, wine storage, espresso machine, and light faire food preparation counter.
The steel structure links the three sub-sectors of the relaxation space: living room, dining area, and reading area, which is partitioned with metal frame accordion glass doors. When closed, the reading area is a distinct and separate section off the relaxation space. When opened, the entire space becomes a great room, connecting with the greenery outside through the L-shaped sliding glass doors.
It is a place of exuberance where the host, with his friends and family, can enjoy exquisite food and fine wine. This concrete box reflects and records the moments of living.
The media center cleverly separates the bed and closet in the master bedroom. Wood element fuses the bathroom with the sleeping area, yet the clear glass subtly divides the different functionalities. The combination of classic footing of the tub, rugged masonry counter, and the Roman X desk legs creates an aura of Tuscan villa.
From Sleep to Culinary
The culinary area is as pristine as the kitchen of a three-star Michelin restaurant, further enhanced with an oval table made from solid wood and a wine cellar containing the owner’s immaculate wine collection. When the owner hosts a party, sumptuous banquets and luscious wines flow from here into the concrete box. Ces’t la vie!
- Architects: a.k.a Architecture
- Location: Kapiti Coast District, Wellington, New Zealand
- Area: 229.0 sqm
- Project Year: 2014
- Photographs: Courtesy of a.k.a Architecture, Nic Nelson
The Nelson House is situated on a rise overlooking Kapiti Island and the coastal residences of Waikanae Beach. The clients brief was for a house that was quintessentially ‘Kiwi’ in its’ aesthetic and materiality. With a love of timber weatherboards, plywood and concrete, it became important to include these materials in the house in an honest and integral way. Due to the sloping nature of the site and the need to have a division between the owners’ day-to-day living spaces and guest accommodation, the plan required a split from the start – whether horizontal or vertical in nature.
The concrete spine wall serves as a divider between the two distinct building forms (one clad in weatherboard, the other ‘service’ area clad in plywood) and also a heat-sink for the fire, maintaining a uniform heat during the colder winter months. The dual roof forms collide over the dining/gallery area with a clear intersection of the two highlighted over the central fireplace.
Timber has been used in its’ natural form throughout, with natural stains to allow the texture and grain of the wood to gleam through.
KCAP Architects & Planners in cooperation with Kunst + Herbert have won the international Fischbeker Reethan competition to master plan the Harburg district of Hamburg, Germany. The 70 hectare site is being developed by the IBA Hamburg (International Building Exhibition) as a new residential and business district with the aim of creating a “Garden City of the 21st Century.” The design will accommodate a total of 2,200 apartments, 100,000 square meters (1,080,000 square feet) of small industry space and nearly 200,000 square meters (2,150,000 square feet) of diverse public landscapes.
KCAP and Kunst + Herbert’s plan responds to existing the existing landscape to reveal a new, sustainable organization of living and working program pieces. Buildings have been arranged to optimize density of housing with innovative open spaces and community buildings.
“The connection with the landscape is the starting point for our design. We consider this functional mixture as an opportunity for the Fischbeker Reethen area and as a paradigm for the peripheral development of cities,” said Kees Christiaanse, partner at KCAP.
A variety of housing typologies have been placed in the center of the district, with green spaces and landscape extended out from the site in the form of fingers. A small plaza will contain a school and an artificial lake, linked to its surroundings through a boulevard. Housing and commercial functions will transition into alternative uses as the district reaches the rail zone located at its perimeter.
The central lake, an integral part of the design’s “green-blue” network of greenery and waterways, also plays a role in the neighborhood’s overall sustainability, serving as a basin for rainwater and energy management.
“At Fischbeker Reethen, we realise new environments for living and working. KCAP and Kunst + Herbert’s design sets new standards for the Garden City of the Future,” said Karen Pein, director IBA Hamburg GmbH.
News via KCAP Architects & Planners.