Serviced Apartments, Hsinchu, Taiwan, 2012
These 250 serviced apartments are set within a masterplan that Mole has designed in partnership with Gianni Botsford Architects. The design evolved from an analysis of climate and observation of vernacular ‘Hakka’ buildings; the buildings are arranged around open courtyards to promote cross-ventilation and minimise the use of air-conditioning. External screening and overhanging balconies cuts out summer sun, and the ground floor is given over to communal use. Working with Arup (Hong Kong) and local architect RJ Wu to deliver the project, this will be a flagship project for an ambitious developer; other buildings within the development are being designed by Kengo Kuma from Japan, and BIG from Denmark.
The buildings are designed around courtyards, with the circulation spaces of both the apartments and hotels open to the atmosphere. The climate in Taiwan is sub-tropical; in spring and autumn the temperature is in the 20’s, and humidity low, and in the winter it rarely gets cold. The summers are hot and humid. The cooling strategy for the buildings has been to allow internal spaces to be air-conditioned in the summer, but to increase cross-ventilation, exclude direct sunlight, and provide sheltered external space, so that the times that the buildings are comfortable with no air conditioning is extended. This strategy- as well as being supported by calculation from Arup- is the result of observation of the traditional buildings in Taiwan.