Located in the Great Taipei New Town district just south of downtown Taipei, the Taiwan Villas are in a development of 28 luxury homes designed by five world-renowned architects. Jim Olson designed five unique homes, each with a distinct relationship to the lush and serene mountain landscape, and together conceived as peaceful retreats from everyday life. Set high within the tree-covered mountains, the homes combine privacy with expansive views of both city and natural terrain.
At approximately 9,500 square feet each, the four-level homes are arranged by use: a service level on the lowest level, followed by a casual family level above, a formal entertaining level next, and ending with a private retreat on the top level. While some of the homes are on flat sites and some on sloping sites, this varying topography led to a diversity of architectural expression within the five homes, including several with dramatic vertical interior spaces.
Some of the sites are flat, some of the sites are sloping, but the topography makes the architectural expression more interesting. It’s kind of like, say, an Italian hill town or something – you get these dramatic views and you get vertical spaces in the houses that you might not have on a more conventional building site. There’s a lot of interest and drama involved.
Throughout the homes, large windows frame seamless views, visually dissolving the boundary between inside and outside, further enhanced by infinity-edged pools that merge water and sky. Interior rooms connect to exterior terraces, merging inside and outside, and facilitating cross ventilation. Deep cantilevered roof planes and generous trellises provide protection from the sun and the elements, yielding elegant interior spaces characterized by soft, dappled light. The expansive, minimal rooms in each home are crafted of stone, stucco, glass and steel. Strong contrasts between the stone surfaces and more delicate interior features lend a sophisticated character to the homes. Each residence serves as a quiet and protected sanctuary – together, they are a world apart.
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