A modern house inspired by the indigenous coral stone houses of Penghu
On the beautiful archipelago of Penghu to the west of Taiwan, indigenous laogushi (coral stone) houses which can be traced back to the Qing dynasty are a unique cultural heritage with their square grid plans and distinctive “rolled” roof ridges resembling a curved gable. The Penghu family house is inspired by these coral stone houses, and their village clusters on windswept plains of wild chrysanthemum.
The square plan is organized into 3 north-south zones, forming the parti of the house and the structural system of load bearing walls. Each zone is designed with a unique rolled-ridge roof profile, creating the overall impression of a cluster of indigenous roofs rising above the trees. Under the rolled-ridge roof profiles, each quadrant of the square grid plan is a distinctive space, the center being the grand 5m tall volume of the living room that opens out to a garden with sweeping views of the sea.
The main living spaces are situated on the second floor to maximize ocean views, lifted off the ground floor by a podium base that holds guest rooms for when the entire clan reunites on special occasions. The ground floor family room extends out to the landscape in soft PU contoured mounds for sliding and playing, as well as a sand pit and basketball hoop. On the third floor, the master bedroom enjoys a vast ocean front deck, while the ancestral temple opens onto an interior courtyard.
Adopting the climate response of these unique Penghu houses, there is effective cross ventilation throughout the entire house, minimal window openings on the north and east faces due to severe winter winds, while deep overhangs and window screens are designed on the south and west faces to reduce solar exposure. Floor to ceiling window screens with linear slot openings referenced indigenous window screens typically made of basalt stone blocks or concrete rendered with fine pebbles.
The house is clad in rough hewn granite panels and blocks to convey the fortified solidity of the coral stone houses. The entire compound is walled in by a coral stone wall, a landscape feature unique to Penghu, which gets redefined here as an organic yet geometric pattern with sliced coral stones. A natural well and a small organic farm sit on the eastern edge of the grounds.
scope: architecture, interior and landscape
site area: 620㎡
floor area: 645㎡
site: Penghu Island, Taiwan
design : 2015-2016
construction: 2016 –