Wednesday, June 17, 2009

House Chen

Sanzhih, Taiwan

In a dream last night, I saw a great storm. It seized the scaffolding. It tore the cross-claps, the iron ones, down. But what was made of wood, swayed and remained.

- Bertolt Brecht

The house is built on old Japanese cherry farm in the Datun Mountains in Northern Taiwan. It is planned as a ship that must survive the demanding conditions of wind, flood and heat.

The building is a stick that has been reised above the ground so that flood waters can freely fun under it. The interiors and exteriors form a rhythm in the middle axis of the house. The smaller sanitary cubicle, in which the kitchen, bathroom and sauna are located, supports the main building like a Polynesian canoe during teh repeating typhoons and earthquakes.

There is natural ventilation in the house. It catches the winds created by the rive Datun and the currents of air cooled by the pond dug to the south side of the house. The fireplace made of tiles is used to boild tea and for heating in wintertime.

The house is not strong or heavy, but weak and flexible. It does not seal off the environment but provides farmers with the shelter they need.

I wanted to build the house Chen as ruins in which something man-made has become part of nature.

Marco Casagrande


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