Project: Unused Basement Conversion
Design: KC Design Studio
Lead designer: Chun-Ta, Tsao Siao-Yu, Sung
Location: Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan
Area: 332 m2
Photographs: Hey! Cheese
Text by KC Design
“If a building is compared to a box, its doors and windows introduce the greenness and natural light into the box underground. To make it breathe is our romantic feeling in the design of the space.”
The project is a building nearly forty years old on Shidong Road. It’s a typical apartment building sandwiched between the left and right buildings with the light coming from the front and back. The owner attempts to turn the unused basement into a new living space for the family of four through design. There are problems that have to be solved in terms of the original space function. For example, the ventilator of the original basement is located at the 65-cm height difference between the first-floor base and the street. However, the forecourt is used for parking, and the backyard is used for sun-drying clothes. The ventilator of the basement is covered without exerting its function. Therefore, the dark basement could only be used as a storage space in the past.
If the basement is included in the daily use in the future, first is to overcome the basic environmental condition. Therefore, we decide to sacrifice the floor area on the first floor near the forecourt and the backyard to make it a courtyard. This is to expand the lighting area of the basement and at the same time increase ventilation and will make a great improvement of the bad environmental problem. Then the old concept of the basement has disappeared and transformed into the new relationship between upstairs and downstairs in the overall space.
After the renovation of the project, the front half area close to the street is the parking space, stairs leading to downstairs, courtyard, and worshipping hall. The front half area downstairs is mainly the interaction space of the family members, which further extends to the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Therefore, when the owner gets along with the family, they can easily enjoy the maple trees and sunlight at the forecourt from downstairs.
The back half area is the private space, including the master bedroom on the first floor and the boy’s and girl’s rooms downstairs. Besides the forecourt, in the private space the greenness can also be enjoyed. Therefore, a China berry that is easy to take care of is planted at the back area downstairs. Through the opening on the ground of the back area of the first floor, the tree top will extends to the height of the desk surface in the master bedroom. The sword fern, ceriman, and philodendron downstairs also extend to the center through the L-shape courtyard on the first floor to serve as the natural screen of the boy’s and girl’s rooms. In the day, the plants can provide the fresh Phytoncide. In the night, the light and shadow of the leaves become the leading role in the space vision through lighting.
The rearrangement of the indoor space adds sunlight and air to the living feeling. The relationship of symbiosis between men, plants, and the house is achieved. With the greenness in the changes of seasons, the purport of life hidden in life can be realized.