Hong-Hua is a children home located in a remote area called Shalun, which means “barren and sandy place along seaside,” and surrounded by gigantic oil depots of near Taoyuan International Airport. For the last forty years, Hong-Hua has nurtured thousands of children in an undisturbed and wall-less campus which is ironically enclosed by these undesirable contextual features. However, due to significant failures in building code and fire safety, Hong-Hua was forced to shut down temporarily by the local government in 2019 and a small site with three houses in the campus was chosen to rebuild.
For the people at Hong-Hua, two options were most considered: either to build three small houses as there were but hard to connect and manage, or one big building which doesn’t look like a home for anybody. This choice of architecture typology is the key to this project, not only about how the building will function, but more about the atmosphere of children home and the memory of the past for those who grew up at Hong-Hua.
Interestingly, our scheme for new children home is to simply combine these two types of building and take benefits from both; three single masses referring to three private homes for children are elevated to create public programs underneath, such as lobby, office, library and cafeteria. By sharing one service core, privacy and safety for children can be ensured. These masses are also detached from each other to create shared programs in-between, such as laundry rooms, open kitchen, and sky-patio playgrounds for children. As an institution expression, a long big overhanging roof wraps up these masses into one single building, literally addressing the idea of shelter architecture, protecting the children from changing weather along seaside, and eventually presenting an identical façade of how small homes can collectively become one big architecture.