JCA Living Lab, a regenerated Japanese Colonial house in Taipei city, Taiwan, by J.C. Architecture, has been named as the World Interior of the Year for 2019. The project has beaten over 90 finalists across nine categories to win the final accolade.
The project transforms a traditional house into a new type of environment for urban living which embraces the layers of history embedded in the site whilst creating a space adapted for modern living. Designed to provide an experience of joyful living, JCA Living Lab is a house designed with its residents in mind, providing considered spaces for children to run freely, but at the same time allowing for rest and reflection.
Traditional craftsmanship is contrasted against modern detailing, such as the circular light feature hanging from the roof of the living room, against the backdrop of preserved materials.
The roof skylight shapes a path which acts as a guide for the house, from the beginning to the end. A red, exterior staircase also reaches up to the roof, connecting the ground to the sky. Additional communal spaces were added to the main house, including a kitchen and living room as well as flexible space for group gatherings, the arrangement of spaces was designed to create connections and interactions.
Judges were impressed with how ‘the house is unusually in tune with the differing and sometimes contradictory needs of a young family. Every space can be negotiated and adapted, encouraging the house to be an incubator for positive difference in the family unit.’
They added: ‘local craftspeople were drafted in when needed and recycled elements were mixed freely with new. Ladders to the roof level encourage ongoing hide and seek. Internal space leaks into a garden, itself an outdoor room, whilst light penetrates in unexpected ways and occasional views of the sky offset the otherwise congested urban setting.
Against the background of rapid development in Taipei, this project has the potential to be a ‘prototype’ that may help re-evaluate the existing stock of Japanese houses’.