A Taiwanese Apartment Inspired by Traditional Ink Paintings

Taiwanese design studio Waterfrom Design has created an evocative and tranquil space

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In Taiwan, local architecture and interior design firm Waterfrom Design has realised a minimalist and spacious apartment inspired by the perspectives of traditional ink painting. The owners wanted a relaxing and tranquil home for themselves and their two children that also drew on the ambience of a hotel room, as they frequently travel.  

The design draws on sinuous shapes and dramatic lighting to evoke a mysterious fog on a lake. Winding mountain paths inspired passages that imbue a striking and mysterious sense of light and darkness while lending the sense of a mountain ramble. 

These natural scenes were emphasised by the long entrance corridor and slowly bending walls that create thick, layered shadows, and the multiple turns throughout the unusually shaped apartment. The design team also altered a particularly low ceiling beam and added arcs into the ceiling to create a fluid feel. 

The homeowners wanted the home to be monochromatic, and the design team reflected this in a minimalist and tranquil palette including marble and wood preserved using the traditional Japanese method of yakisugi. The granite-coloured central island in the open kitchen became a central colour focus, and the shade punctuates the home, as seen in the living room’s seating.

The living room’s bookshelf is another eye-catching element. Created from burnt white wood, the rear mount displays natural detailed cracks that subtly contrast with the dark red shelves, creating a almost-monotone but striking visual effect. In a corner of the second bedroom, a custom-built triangular glass shelf allows light to flow in from the balcony. 

Text / Babette Radclyffe-Thomas
Images / Kuomin Lee

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