17 10 25 Tainan House 2

House of Rain

Residential conversion and extension, 2006

Architect: Tonkin Liu
Location: Tainan, Taiwan
Size: 260 Sq. meters

The ideal horizontal relationship of an extended family house with the shared courtyards of a traditional Chinese house has been turned into a vertical urban model. Here three generations and three families are accommodated in independent and interconnected spaces.

17 10 25 Tainan House Drawing 1

Two double-height rooms bring light and views to the depths of the house, activated by the characters of the house appearing and disappearing from these rooms.  The large double-volume living space is connected to the smaller double-volume study.  The living space is an extension of the mother’s space, whilst the study, an extension of the father’s room, where friends come to play chess daily.  The double-volume study is in turn connected to the eldest son’s bedroom on the fourth floor.  The fifth floor, with a generous roof terrace, is where the eldest daughter’s family comes to stay.

17 10 2 Tainan House 3
17 10 25 Tainan House Drawing 2

The floors and important walls are finished in recycled dark wood. The stripped patchwork pattern of the wood is reminiscent of falling rain. Balustrades and screens around the double volumes match sliding screens to cupboards and shelves. The screens are constructed from farmed hardwood in an abstract constructional pattern that corresponds to the rain pattern of the walls. 

The dark backdrop created by the walls and screens highlights the top lit quality of the light that always feels as if it is coming from above. This exaggerates the exterior quality of the double volume spaces. These spaces act as public spaces within a house of private rooms and visually link all the floors' occupants.

17 10 25 Tainan House Small 1
17 10 25 Tainan House Small 2