Taichung, Taiwan

Designing a house on a narrow lot in the bustling city of Taichung, Taiwan, called for a certain imagination—especially when it was intended for a family of three with an extensive art collection. The architects, a Münster, Germany–based firm, Behet Bondzio Lin Architekten, wanted to make sure the narrow (30 feet wide) and long (98 feet) house, known as Haus Flora, would be able to receive ample daylight, yet still afford privacy to its residents.

By building a four-story, poured-in-place concrete structure, organized around an internal open courtyard and fish pond, the architects were able to accommodate a range of functions while creating a spacious, livable home. The street elevation opens onto a garage and a passage leading to the courtyard and the gallery/living area at the rear. The lower floors of the house contain four galleries for sculpture, painting, crystal, and photography, while additional living spaces and bedrooms (office and master bedroom in the rear, and children's rooms at the front) are located on the upper levels. There are two below-grade parking levels.

Concrete columns and beams often subdivide the spaces in the 15,000-square-foot house, providing a sense of scale. “We thought about architecture as aperture,” says principal-in-charge Yu-Han Michael Lin, adding that the concrete elements framed views that “arrest and release the stream of daily life.”

Circulation, flow, and views all become salient elements in Haus Flora's design, since open spaces or gaps within the systematically stacked volumes suffuse light from one split-level to another.

The floors are clad in teak, except when they are treated as internal extensions of the garden terraces: The living room, dining room, and sculpture gallery, for example, are sheathed in ocean-gray marble. Bedroom doors slide open and disappear, while bathrooms are placed inside blocks clad in contrasting materials (teak when set inside areas with marble floors, white-painted wood inside spaces with teak floors). Adding to this play of volumes, planes, light, and space are custom-designed glass cubes that match the pattern of the courtyard walkway and display the crystal collection.

Lin's client, Flora Tseng, who spent many years in the United States living near the ocean, says the center courtyard's grass and water give her a sense of her erstwhile scenic environment. But about building this unusual house in central Taichung? “We're proud to have a unique home that pushes forward architecture in Taiwan,” she says.

“To us, it's the perfect blend of design, comfort, and practicality.”


Mr. and Mrs. Tseng

Completion Date:
October 2009

Gross square footage:
15070 sq ft

Total construction cost:
$ 2.5 million

behet bondzio lin architekten GmbH & Co. KG
Hafenweg 26 b
48155 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 (0) 2 51 / 13 65 1-16
Fax: +49 (0) 2 51 / 13 65 1-29
Website: www.2bxl.com

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Yu-Han Michael Lin, principal in charge
Carole Asfour, project architect
Britta Kasner, Kuo Hsiao-Chen, Lo Hata, Yang Zin-Sin,Huang WenYi (model maker, designers)

behet bondzio lin architekten GmbH & Co. KG

Associate architect(s):
Ho Dong-Kuang Architects and Ching-Shuei& associates
(Liao Ming-Pin , Lu Chih-Wen、Huang Pao-Ti, Chen Sheng-I
, Liu Wan-Chen, Liao Wan-Yu, Lin Wei-Chun, Huang Min-Hung, Chen Chun-Wei, Hsu Li-Hua, Lo Yuan-Chun)

Interior designer:
behet bondzio lin architekten GmbH & Co. KG
(Carole Asfour)

ahw Ingenieure GmbH
Gildenstraße 2h D-48157 Münster, Germany
Tel.: +49 251 14134-0
Fax: +49 251 14134-50
Top technic Engineering Consultant Co., Ltd (structural)

General contractor:
Chong-Ya Construction

Christian Richters Photography
Annette-Allee 41A
48149 Münster, Germany

behet bondzio lin architekten GmbH & Co. KG
(Yu-Han Michael Lin)

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Vectorworks, Aster Project, Form Z, Photoshop



Structural system:
Flat-slab poured-in-place concrete
+ pre-stressed and post-tensioned concrete.

Exterior cladding:
Masonry: Exposed Concrete, Ju-Li concrete industrial co., LTD
Metal/glass: Aluminum/low E glass, Dachung Aluminium Co., Ltd

Wood: Mei Ri Cheng

Glass: Yong-Lu glass Co., Ltd

Skylights: Yong-Lu glass Co., Ltd

Entrances: Yuan-Yi

Metal doors: Yuan-Yi

Wood doors: Tsai Chin-Shui

Sliding doors: Tsai Chin-Shui

Fire-control doors, security grilles: Yuan-Yi

Special doors: YCND

Locksets: Jia-Lin

Hinges: Jia-Lin

Closers: Jia-Lin

Exit devices: Jia-Lin

Pulls: Jia-Lin

Security devices: Jia-Lin

Cabinet hardware: Jia-Lin

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings: Tsai Chin-Shui

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Tsai Chin-Shui

Paints and stains: Lu Ching-Chun

Wallcoverings: Lu Ching-Chun

Paneling: Tsai Chin-Shui

Special surfacing: Corian

Floor and wall tile:

Resilient flooring: Liao Deng-Zhou

TON Objekteinrichtung
An den Speichern 648157 Münster, Germany
T +49-251-96246-0
Fax: +49-251-96246-40
Living Room upholstery:
Tables: Tischlerei Uppenkamp, Dreischkamp 10,

Living Room Chandelier:
Luzidus Leuchten GmbH
Selmer Str. 21, Lüdinghausen, Germany

Fireplace: ecosmart
Dining Room: Minotti
Dining Room Chandelier: Anthologie Quartett

Bar: Poggenpohl, barstool: Walterknoll

Wellness Room: Manutti

Tea Room: Cor

Kitchen: Poggenpohl

Library: sdr+

Bathrooms: Duravit, Hansgrohe
Krukenkamp GmbH
Hafenweg 14 Am Kreativkai 48155 Münster
Tel. +49 251 490 97 97
Fax +49 251 490 97 90
Logo: Ivy Tseng

Interior ambient lighting: LED101

Downlights: LED101

Task lighting: LED101

Exterior: LED101

Controls: LED101

Elevators/Escalators: GFC, Ltd

Accessibility provision:
GFC, Ltd


Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project: TRANE