Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

 

Situated in the Beitou Hot Spring Area at the foot of Taipei’s Datun Mountains in Taiwan, China, is a residence by Wei Yi International Design Associates designed for an older couple to retire in.

The “Din-a-ka”, translating to a covered walkway, was a distinct cultural and architectural feature in the early days of Taiwan’s agrarian society. It was the place used for social exchanges in rural areas. In what has become a rapidly changing social landscape, Din-a-ka is now an obscure feature that’s rarely found these days outside fond memories of the past.

“Drawing inspiration from the surroundings of abundant natural resources and cultural atmosphere, the residence was designed for the purpose of creating and storing memories for its users: “A Search for Memories”,” said the designers.

 

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

 

It is a simple plan executed with clean lines in a calming palette of greys and timber. Recycled hinoki, a native wood grown in Taiwan along with cement with a simple matte finish were used as the main materials for shaping the interior. The selection lends a weathered, nostalgic and calm atmosphere to the residence.

The curved structure in the hallway provides a smoothness and variance to the circulation while acting as storage for the apartment. Using a sculptural process, the designers gave the curve’s facade a weathered and aged appearance. They have applied rusted metal and gold foil to the greyish black material. The curve, lit by strip lighting and the wall panelled with aged Taiwanese cypress, forms a passageway as if it is leading people back in time.

“Through the use of materials, such as recycled wood, concrete, terrazzo, and tatami, we explored how materials can be used to create an atmosphere of the space and convey the spirits of the local cultures,” explain the design team.

 

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

Din-a-ka Residence in Taipei, Taiwan by Wei Yi International Design Associates | Yellowtrace

 

A steel blue cabinet “floating” in the entry acts as the threshold to the interior and directs the circulation. Concrete textures and warm timber tones form the basis of the master bedroom, which is simple and elegant. The guest bathroom is finished in a sombre black palette with a textured wall of stucco. An organically-shaped solid pecan timber table is supported and suspended by copper supports.

Different styles of furniture break up the spatial areas within the house. Customised lighting hangs from the ceiling, satisfying various lighting functions. The fully glassed exterior, the facing wall of the ‘watshitsu room’, used for meditation and serving tea, brings the beautiful trees and scenery indoors.

It is always a delight when you see a floor plan with layering that’s not expressed through the complexity of structure but by the attribution of details and selection of materials. What otherwise would have been a very basic structure instead reads as a tactile and textured design. It is what one might term a layered approach to minimalism.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Wei Yi International Design Associates. Photography by Dean Cheng.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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