Situated in Northeast Tainan, Y House by MVRDV looks set to become the focal point of a new residential development that will become a weekend retreat for city workers.

-text by the authors

The 330 m2 villa looks on its surroundings with living spaces raised onto a four-floor stem. A private rooftop swimming pool takes prime location, cradled in the dip of the Y-shape of the building. The proposal gives an identity to an otherwise nondescript site, standing out amongst the rest, and marking the development from a distance. The site of the project is approximately a 40-minute drive between Tainan city and the sea.

The design of the villa derives from the optimum volume for the house but then raises the living spaces to give residents prime views over the surrounding landscape, rather than their next-door neighbour’s fence. The more communal spaces of the house – the living and dining rooms – are given priority in the top of the volume, which is bent into a Y shape to form the private swimming pool. Below this, bedrooms including; two children’s rooms, a master bedroom and a guest bedroom, are stacked above a ground-level tea room meant for entertaining guests. Both stairs and a lift give access throughout the house.

Y House sits within a tranquil pool with small gardens and stepping-stone pathways, the positioning and orientation of which is all arranged according to the practice of Feng Shui. Large, circular windows puncture the concrete shell of the building giving light and airy interiors without interrupting the Y shape of the villa. In the top volume, the dining space is sandwiched between two tribunes which not only provide access to the solarium and changing rooms before leading up to the rooftop pool but give extra storage and spaces on which to relax. Even here windows are cut, looking both down into the calm pool below and up to the one above; letting the dappled light shine into the living room that floats above the dining area.

A landmark in and of itself, Y House’s distinct concrete façade with circular window openings creates a light- filled experience with its furniture integrated fully into interior spaces i.e. stairs merging with living deck, and a concrete roof evoking sculptural elements.

Facts & Credits
Project Title  Y House
Location  Tainan, Taiwan
Year  2016+
Client  Wonders Information Co. Ltd
Area  330m2
Programme  Private residence

Architecture Design  MVRDV
Design Team  Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs, Nathalie de Vries, Wenchian Shi, Hui-Hsin Liao, Ángel Sánchez Navarro, Diana Bibisheva, Antonio Luca Coco, Costanza Cuccato and Jaime Domínguez Bálgom and Matteo Artico
Co-architects  KAI Architects Tainan, Taiwan
Structural engineers  Envision Engineering Consultants, Taipei/Tainan, Taiwan

Check out, also, Tianjin Binhai Library in China by MVRDV & Tianjin Urban Planning and Design Institute (TUPDI), here!