J.C. Architecture’s Living Lab Wins Interior of the Year

J.C. Architecture’s Living Lab Wins Interior of the Year

J.C. Architecture’s “Living Lab” in Taipai, Taiwan was recently awarded Interior of the Year (Residential) at the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, held this month in Amsterdam.

Living Lab exterior back with courtyard showing access to house and red ladder to roof

A thoughtful and intensive restoration of an army barracks—built some 90 years ago while Taiwan was under Japanese rule—the JCA Living Lab is not just a simple renovation but also an ongoing exploration into converting existing structures into functional contemporary homes.

Living Lab interior living room with mother and daughter watching tv; flagstone floor with stingray rocker and pink loveseat

The project identifies and engages fundamental notions about modern urban living: “the ratio between children and adults, streets and cities, and the notion of experiencing the streets outside from inside the home.”

Living Lab view to outside through green room with many plants and vines and view of garden

The architects preserved the basic cinder block and wood frame structure, as well as traditional features like the Japanese Hinko timber window-frames and marble flooring, while adding additional living space for the kitchen and living room.

Living Lab kitchen with long marble table, stainless steel cookstove, circular overhead lights, and exposed ceiling with visible ducting and adjacent greenhouse

Glass walls, new windows, and skylights were incorporated throughout, augmenting natural light while creating an intuitive corridor of unimpeded views through the house.

Living lab two images: hallway with terrazzo wall and child at far end pushing on red door; living room with mother and children with large halo-style light overhead

And by utilizing the small scale of street, house, and garden, the architects and designers achieve the impressive illusion of a natural setting. Most glimpses from inside to out reveal tantalizing slashes of greenery, wayward branches, or dangling vines.

Living Lab bedroom with glass walls and view to outdoors

And the roof is an accessible respite as well. Easy-to-climb ladders invite exploration and offer expansive views.

Living Lab girl on roof looking out at city

In recognizing JCA Living Lab, the INSIDE judges commented on the achievement of creating a tranquil setting in the context of a rapidly developing urban environment: “This project has the potential to be a 'prototype' that may help re-evaluate the existing stock of Japanese houses in Taipei.”

Living Lab glass-enclosed patio with views of garden and red ladder and partial view of home interior

To find out more, see J.C. Architecture.

Posted December 23, 2019 by Joseph Starr

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