Taipei Chen Residence

PrizeHonorable Mention in Interior Design /
Firm LocationTaipei, Taiwan
Lead ArchitectKeng-Yu Liao

The Chen Residence is nestled against the gradual slope of a mountain in northern Taiwan, opens itself towards expansive nature. The house was built in the 60s, in its refurbishment, KYDO’s design principal Keng-yu Liao retained the overall structure. The red roof tiles, low overhang, and linear layout belie a style that blended Western minimalism, Chinese elements, and Hokkien vernacular of the Japanese occupation era. The structure has been strengthened and the external tiles renewed, while multiple skylights have been added to improve interior illumination. Sloping down from forest to cliff drop, the two main linear volumes of the house are staggered in placement. In the corner formed by their overlap, low walls enclose a semi- private inner courtyard, affording a teasing view of the front entrance, which is accessed with wooden steps. Interior layout and openings were dictated by the external view as well as by the owner’s extensive art collection. The layout—double height in front and single in back—affords all-access to the grounds (pond, pool, garden, and green wall). To better host guests, the living and dining rooms flow seamlessly into the open-plan kitchen, while bed and bathrooms are located in a more private corner. Skylights maintain the bright, airy ambience of the rest of the house. The only extension to the house is a low-slung shed oriented perpendicular to the rest of the structure. Housing a guest-use hot springs spa, the shed invites nature inside by way of floor height French windows that open to the garden. With its white walls, red roof tiles, and classic interior, the house has been restored so that it stands timeless, a graceful oasis in the forest. A low murmur along the gentle slopes, the residence is reborn, its structure strengthened, its details enlivened, its life now, open and connected to the land.