Architects:Bjarke Ingels Group
Location:Hualien City, Taiwan (ROC)
Project name:Hualien Residence
Project Manager:Andrew Lo
BIG’s “most mountainous project yet” has completed its first home outside of Hualien City on Taiwan’s East Coast. The striated vacation housing project, built to resemble “Taiwan’s spine of mountains to the west,” is being developed by the Taiwan Land Development Corporation as a dense new neighborhood that “preserves and enhances the beauty of the surrounding nature” and offers “an active and social lifestyle outside the city.”
The first model unit to complete, the 1000-square-meter home provides a first-hand look into life at the Hualien Residences with custom furniture designed by KiBiSi and an efficient layout shaped by the a distinct narrow floor plate covered in vegetation that plays into the development’s overarching “folding hill structure.”
“The Hualien Hills are a pragmatic utopian attempt at rural densification where the ecological qualities of nature aren’t consumed by the urban development, but rather extended and amplified. Where the Spaniards found ways to drill homes and cities into the porous rocks of the local mountains in Guadix, the Taiwanese are now building cityscapes of inhabited hillsides in Hualien,” said BIG founder Bjarke Ingels.
“On a backbone of efficient layouts and rational circulation, the undulating roofs of the buildings provide the neighborhood with a great variation in residence types and communal spaces,” adds the firm. “Inside, the apartments inherit attributes from the angled silhouettes to add an almost traditional vernacular feeling of attics and porches in the middle of the dense modern development.
“The landscape stripes run east-west to block glare and thermal exposure from the low-angle morning and evening sun. The form and orientation of the structure creates cool and comfortable microclimates at the pedestrian level. The landscaped roofs further mitigate heat gain to increase the comfort of the balconies and terraces, diminishing the energy loads for cooling.”