KC Design Studio has utilized a set of critical interventions to transform a 50 year old building in a central residential area of Taiwan into a modern house of convenience and comfort. The designers, Kuan-Huan Liu and Chun-Ta Tsao, not only combated the main restrictions of the site entailing a small floor-plan and minimal natural light due to its close proximity to neighboring buildings, they actually used the solutions to these as unique design tools which add character to the space.
As such, the building's three stories were brought "inward and upward," first by setting back the front of the house and using a metal mesh to create an enclosed balcony for each of the three stories. This not only gives residents a number of semi-outdoor spaces to enjoy, but also introduces more light and ventilation into the home. Furthermore, the partial removal of ceilings, not only on the top floor but in the lower levels also, creates a continuous stream of light that floods through the home, from the roof through to the ground floor.
Meanwhile, the rear of the house was brought in by half a meter in order to increase the distance from the neighboring house to just under a meter, at 90 centimeters. This is a change small in numbers but huge in improvement factors for the building since the wide windows the designers implemented in the back play a vital role in increasing light and aeration flow in and around the space.
Inside, the textural décor is also carefully thought out so as to be both comfortable and minimal since the home is essentially facing inwards towards it. As such, the designers mainly used white wood flooring - except for the balcony floors which feature a rich brown wood while the walls feature a simple cement finish. The color scheme in terms of furniture and décor items runs the gamut of white and gray - from the deep gray large sofa in the living room, to the white and gray kitchen chairs, to the herringbone patterned, dark gray tiles on the bathroom floor - and is punctuated by wood furniture and stainless steel in the kitchen, the stairwell and cabinets. Glass is another texture that plays up beautifully through partitions that delineate rooms from each other while at the same time keeping the open plan, so crucial to the home's scheme, intact.
In short, House W is an inventive example of how simple solutions can have a huge impact in a small space and are ample enough to create a home environment which lacks in nothing but has everything to offer.
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