I met the home owner on a rainy afternoon. He introduced me to his house, which, though a bit old but was spacious, had three floors, a front yard and a backyard and was fully functional for the whole family of three generations living together. At first, I thought he only wanted to renovate the house and its living space. But I was wrong, the design task given by the home owner was very simple and concise that I had never heard before: "Let's give me a blueprint so emotional that I can have enough courage to tear down this house." It was from this abstract statement that our work started.
With the size of 21.98 ft x 55.77 ft and three sides open, the land's campus was very nice for designing of a family house. It was not difficult to arrange light and wind to every space inside, but for the house to be filled with nature and minimized artificial energy was what we want to do in this work.
The layout of the altar room and the living space at the ground floor was a challenge that the home owner gave to the architects. This is a form of traditional design as the altar room is central to a house of "two bays, three gables". 'How to get the altar room harmonious with the modernness of the house and still retains the solemnness of the worship space?' was a vexing question to the architects. It was an open space with the white color of several types of ordinary materials -- 3 white-striped brick, white-painted ventilation brick etc.—that brought good results.
A hanging garden at the facade provides a natural green space and cool air for the bedroom of the home owner's old parents. A shade of vertical wooden spokes decorates the facade while ensuring the security for the house and is still open. This setback area in the front is very important as the house can avoid noise, dust and has a green protective cushion.
We spent more time to examine the core of the house. The front yard of the old house cannot be lost so we decided to retain it but moved it to the middle of the house, where the architects expected to keep the home owner's family members sit back longer, relax and enjoy the filled-with-nature space. So here we put on the green of jamblon trees, the singing of birds, the babbling of water, the beautiful colors of Koi carps and the sunshine streaks which seem endless from the glass roof down to the aquarium. Not only that, the architects also desire this space to be where the home owners feel the change of "Sunshine" through every moment of the day, every season of the year so we used a large glass roof with wood boards which can adjust their rotation angles.
A staircase which changes its side from left to right through floors, a corridor connecting two blocks front and back, this interlacing breaks the monotonous in the design of a house with a staircase in the middle. Natural wood, grey-painted iron bars, black aluminum door systems are more prominent against the white-striped brick-pressed walls.
The space of the back block also enjoys peaceful atmosphere with an array of green trees at the end of the house, which although not large but also increases the closeness to nature, removes from the home owners the life pressures after every working day.
All of these were calculated meticulously and in detail, considered each material to be used to create a space so emotional that the home owner can have the courage to tear down the filled-with-memories old house and also for us to have a satisfactory work.