Wrapped in luscious greenery, the multi-functional living unit presents new ways of life to revive the old space.
Letting time and its imprints tell the story of the past, the present and the future, JCA Living Lab is the embodiment of new life breathed into the almost 100-year-old house while honouring its rich layers of stories.
Located in Taipei’s Daan District, close to National Taiwan University, JCA Living Lab spans 2,400 sq. ft. and breaths new life into this experimental project with a modern design that still manages to showcase the history of this Japanese-style wooden house.
Applying sustainable thinking and practices, the house kept its original base, with brick and stone walls, timber-based rafters on the ceiling and tiling roofs. One of the lead designers for this project, Johnny Chiu, shared that 70% of the materials used to renovate and furnish the house are all recycled. Redefining the way people look at marble, the living room’s floor is made out of broken marble pieces caused by earthquake disturbance, combined with dark grey concrete to create a mosaic flooring. The team uses a sustainable approach to transform the damage caused by nature into something beautiful.
Liked the idea of open planning, cross ventilation and always thinking of children as the primary focus while rearranging the space, JCA Living Lab is filled with fun and interactive areas, letting the kids freely move within the residential unit. Besides, almost all partitions are now minimised as the main living space, backyard and kitchen-dining area are connected, creating four routes to go through the abode.
Transformed rooms, as seen in the grandmother’s bathroom, the team took off the old ceiling and replaced it with one newly made from glass, letting natural light flood in and compliment the red brickwork on the ground. Additionally, in the master bedroom, the side of the sleeping zone can be totally opened up, allowing sunlight and ventilation to reach all corners.
Reviving the old configuration by connecting its space with the tenants and the surroundings, JCA Living Lab extends horizontally to communicate with plants and space and vertically to the sun. As seen in the bathroom, the sunroof of a secondhand car was installed as a sky window, offering a direct view of the sky and clouds, moon and stars, and of course, ventilation also.
Heading to the back of the house, a unique feature that JCA Living Lab presents is the red ladder which leads you to the rooftop, offering another playground for the kids and relaxing stargazing nights for the whole family. Being able to climb up to the top of the house also allows everyone to experience more of the dorm's history on its tiled roof.
The serenity offered by the greenery plays a part in making JCA Living Lab’s spatial fluidity, letting natural light and air flow through every lushing layer of leafy plants, bringing freshness indoors.
The lab preserved the locale's decades of history, applying urban approaches and a modern lifestyle full of possibilities to continue the journey of evolving through time. Longing to keep nature right by one’s side, and to have new energy and innovations uplift the residence, through experimenting, the initiative infuses JCA Living Lab with contemporary architecture, drawing the occupants into a space made of sustainable practices, honouring Asian culture while achieving renewable developments in the heart of Taipei.
If you are interested in visiting JCA Living Lab, the property will be open for viewing during the Open House Taipei festival November 12 to 13, 2022. More information about the event can be found here.
Photo: JC Architecture / Kuomin Lee