Located at the foot of Dagan Mountain, and surrounded by farmland in rural Alian District just outside Kaohsiung in the south of Taiwan, Lianyuan Retreat is home to the Chen family.
The house is flanked by trees on one side, set back from the street with a garage and guest building between it and the road. It is designed in a rectangular shape with an open courtyard in the center.
As a traditional three-sided courtyard house, it enjoys plenty of natural light and the cool breeze from outside. An outdoor fireplace in the central courtyard acts as a focal point for the interior space.
The house is built from a double-skin design, using concrete for the main structure, and CMU blocks as the outer layer. A linear-shaped pond runs alongside the courtyard, mediating the rough CMU block surface and the farmland outside.
Overall, the design negotiates a fine balance between the privacy of interior space, and the openness of the house’s rural exterior. This balance is regulated by the modules of CMU blocks that form a mixture of solid, latticed, and punctured walls at various locations around the house.
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