THE URBAN CODE BUILDING
Urban housing typology rewired
On a dense urban site with meandering alleys, XRANGE’s design for a 6 unit residential tower turns 2 major tenets of local urban housing typology on its head.
Influenced by the culture of fengshui, Asian buyers are heavily biased towards rectilinear plan layouts without any columns protruding into the interior building envelope. This has given rise to the prevalent practice of exposing the structural frames on the outside envelopes of residential buildings, giving Taiwanese residential buildings the characteristic gridded frame exteriors. Furthermore, the building code allows a percentage of canopies, balconies and planters to be added onto building envelopes as freebie area extras that can be sold, an incentive highly beneficial for developers. As a result, gridded concrete frame exterior with various barnacle-like articulations on the tower form become the de facto residential typology here.
To upend this prevalent practice, XRANGE first employs a load bearing wall and floor slab structure to achieve a smooth exterior structural envelop with no exposed structural grids. The residential units thus have no internal columns, with only one beam to define the sunken bathroom areas.
Next, XRANGE’s design strategy for the freebie add-ons volumes is to first stretch them thin over the entire 17m wide street front, then stack them one in front of the other. This reconfiguration achieves a 3.5m x 5m outdoor living space, creating a new housing layout that was previously deemed impossible for dense urban living. These reconfigured add-on volumes are staggered in plan to play off the wedding-cake like building envelope stipulated by the site’s stringent set back requirements.
The result is a one of a kind, two-way wedding cake residential tower form in striking geometric purity, that created unparalleled benefits to both developer and housing occupants.
scope: architecture, interior and landscape
client: Shihlin Development
total floor area: 1585 m2