BIOSPHERE, A MODERN LUXURY GREEN WORK | Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute
Zuoying District, Taiwan
Photo credit: KyleYu Photo Studio
Project name: Biosphere
Location: Kaohsiung City, Taiwan
Architects/designers: Keng-Fu Lo
Firm’s name: Chain10 Architecture & Interior Design Institute
Photographer: KyleYu Photo Studio
Abandoning The Traditional Can Lead to Luxury
The world is changing faster than any of us could expect, architects must transform or risk becoming obsolete along with their designs. This project continues the trend of trying to incorporate as many sustainable and eco-friendly principles as possible.
The project is located in the south and close to the north-south provincial highway in Taiwan. The narrow plot is less than 30 meters wide so space constraints are something that had to be accounted for.
The site is hampered by noise from the provincial highway, air pollution, and concerns about employees and guests transiting to the office. There are easier solutions to address some of these problems but sustainable choices have to be made in 2020. The building was stacked back to the back, hoping to create a focal point around the openness of the building's entrance. The building also has a large number of suspended elements, deep balconies, and sun visors. All of these components help to decrease the temperature inside the building. The windowed area in the west was reduced in size to decrease the energy usage from air conditioning. The windows along the front side were positioned in such a way that as the sun moves through the sky, a path of light can be seen moving through the office. This helps remind people in an office about the passage of time during the day.
Climate change and global warming are an increasingly urgent issue, but the trend of people concentrating in urban areas is unavoidable. That means that architects must try to bring greenery into urban spaces as much as possible. This was done while accounting for the atmospheric conditions as well as the native plant species. The foliage tries to reverse the “hot island” effect that is common in dense urban areas. The facade of the building abandons the thinking of traditional architecture by removing all windows from the western side.
Taiwan is in a subtropical environment. This means high humidity affects the maintenance of buildings and all the objects inside of it. The traditional concept of Asian structures was transformed by changing waterproof tiling into a waterproof coating and applying it to the exterior. This makes the exterior 2500x more hydrophobic while still allowing oxygen into and out of the building. This also solves the problem of unclean water coating the outside of a project while creating a living building that breathes.
The color of the building and a large amount of greenery in the environment is intertwined with the greenery of the property to create a coordinated and friendly image of the entrance. The corridor of the entrance is surrounded by a high degree of natural sloping embankments and densely planted trees. The exterior is dotted with stone chairs. During times of high stress, the employees of the office can take a walk outside and feel like they have strolled into another biome. This is a critical component that more modern offices need, something to help employees deal with the stress of long working hours.
By abandoning the traditional Asian model of architecture, a structure was created that is symbiotically linked to the environment. Sustainable while being a place for many generations of people to work.