This home in Taipei exemplifies how simple, abstract forms can come together to create harmony and function under one roof.
A system of sliding walls and panels allows the homeowners to easily reconfigure the layout of their living room.
A home means different things to different people. For the owners of this place in Taipei, home is more than just a safe haven – it should also accommodate all kinds of living possibilities that bring joy and fulfilment. Meeting this requirement was no easy feat, but Wei Yi International Design Associates, the design company behind this living masterpiece, found a unique way to express these ideals through a series of daring features.
Despite the minimalist treatment, the spaces still look warm and inviting, thanks to a contrasting mix of straight lines and curves.
The circular forms of the fittings have an Oriental inspiration.
“Apart from ensuring that the basic requirements of living are met, a home can be made richer, and interesting design outcomes can be generated from shape, function or spatial form,” say the designers.
A swivel wall allows the living and dining areas to blend seamlessly into one space.
What has transpired here is a series of box-like and plane-like structures concocted into an interesting mix of space, light and colour. To infuse the monotonous concrete frame with visual interest, the designers added interesting details inspired by the architect who designed the famous Red and Blue Chair, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld.
Conventional doors give way to large entryways, making the entire apartment feel spacious.
“Rietveld’s designs are oriented to simplicity in construction. Take the Red and Blue Chair, for example – the entire piece is reduced to its most abstract forms, yet they function beautifully,” the designers explain. “We applied the same philosophy to this home using simple forms to bring out the integrity of the space.”
Ambient lighting comes from concealed LED strips peeking through slits in the walls.
At 1,938 sq ft, this home provided ample space for the designers to express their Rietveld-inspired ideas into a formidable whole. The entire layout is kept open and free-flowing to make way for flexible spatial configurations. Rooms are divided by a system of sliding and revolving panels, giving the space almost endless permutations. For instance, in the living room, a movable wall is set between the main living hall and the dining space. This wall can be swung open to give the homeowners a wide and spacious living area, or closed for more privacy.
The use of a dark palette adds warmth and cosiness to the bedroom.
In terms of aesthetic appeal, the designers went for a bold and unconventional look with a collection of eclectic details. What stands out most are the two large bowl-like features affixed to the ceiling of the main living area. Designed to resemble an art installation, the bowls are coated with a special finishing to create an Oriental effect and appeal.
White Statuario marble with intricate black veins covers the bathroom’s accent wall.
“The bowls give you a kind of visual stimulation no matter which way you look at them. They form an interesting three-dimensional piece against the ceiling,” the designers say. “We combine these elements with the lighting design so that they also work as light fittings.”
Teal chalkboard paint allows the homeowners to leave notes and messages on the living room walls.
While eye-catching, these simple forms are more than meets the eye, as each of them connotes a specific idea in the designers’ East-meets-West approach.
The decor emanates an overwhelming sense of Zen, thanks to the clever use of muted colours as well as lines and silhouettes.
To enliven the atmosphere, classic oriental-themed colours and textures are used.
“The boxes and bowls signify different things: Boxes with straight lines represent the rational thinking of Western science, while the round bowls represent the perfection of the Oriental humanistic spirit,” the designers explain. “The blending of Eastern and Western elements opens up a harmonious dialogue here. The arrangement of the furnishings is not limited by space, objects or direction; their multiple uses give this modern residence new definition. Light is illumination as well as a guide, and it lets you see a space which is simple but full of Oriental elegance.”
To enliven the atmosphere, classic Oriental-themed colours and textures are used, complemented by decorative wall sconces and furniture. A bright blue sofa that stands out against the teal feature wall adds an immediate wow factor to the living room. The same palette is used in the master bedroom, where an abstract work of art serves as the headboard against a teal backdrop. In the master bathroom is a bright yellow washbasin with modern appeal. Throughout the home, the colour scheme engenders a sense of cohesive contemporary elegance, and the rough texture of the cement represents perfection within imperfection, making this interior feel most natural.
Wei Yi International Design Associates, tel: +886 2 2702 2199. www.lw-id.com
Photos JMS, via WEI YI INTERNATIONAL DESIGN ASSOCIATES