Mecanoo’s Social Housing philosophy focuses on the development of affordable living spaces defined by flexibility, the right balance of private and communal spaces, mixed housing types, connection with the environment and identity.
The housing complex in Kaohsiung will host 245 units between 25 and 75m², designed for a large variety of users, from students, young couples to families with children, as well for elderly or people with special needs. Located between the new green corridor and the existing neighbourhood along the railway, the Housing Complex will be a kick-off project part of a larger urban redevelopment with mixed use buildings for the whole area.
The triangular plot defines the shape of the two buildings connected by a green canopy around the courtyard which serves as an entrance for the residents. Commercial spaces on the perimeter of the ground floor generate street life and activate the public spaces around the building.
The east building houses most of the apartments while the west tower concentrates the mixed-use program, with social facilities, apartments and a senior’s day-care centre. Distributed in several floors and connected by green terraces, the Sky Park works as a social hub open to the public, which brings together residents and the local community.
The depth between structure and the exterior walls provides shadow and reduces the solar heat gains inside the apartments. Different from most housing blocks in Taiwan where façade materials are used to cover walls, columns and slabs, Mecanoo’s choice for this social housing is to create a contrast between structure and walls: green and white coloured ceramic tiles are used to infill the structural grid covered in stucco.
The coloured tiles, a typical material largely used in Taiwanese architecture come together in a playful composition to pattern the visual identity of Kaohsiung Social Housing.