House Merged with Surrounding Landscape
Finnish architect Marco Casagrande has built a house in Taipei called Ultra-ruin. Its wooden part is built on the ruins of the old bricks surrounded by dense jungle. The author calls the Ultra-ruin house a “wooden architectural body” that “sprouted” on the ruins of an abandoned farm.
House Merged With Surrounding Landscape in Taipei
Ultra-ruin house in Taipei designed by Marco Casagrande
The site is situated on Yangming hillside. Its landscape and vegetation is much closer to the jungle than the city. Actually, the distance from the city’s infrastructure caused the farm’s desolation. But when creating the Ultra-ruin this location was probably the main advantage of the project, as the customer was looking for a place of solitude and relaxation.
This unique project started in 2009, when the customer turned to the architect with a request to design a table and a comfortable space for socializing around the table. The next step was the creation of a “sink” for this table, i.e. the canopy with some amenities. And then the project included jacuzzi, bedroom, and a full living room. Marco Casagrande emphasizes that Ultra-ruin continues developing.
It is interesting that all the “upgrades” initially were made on a small wooden model of the house. In 2009 this layout was exhibited at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and in 2011 began to exhibit at the Taipei World Design Expo.
While creating the house on the border of the forest, the architect made the nature and man-made dialogue with the environment its main theme. This dialogue does not stop for a minute: the total area of the terraces is almost three times more than the living area of the house. All its interior spaces are separated from the street very conditionally. And the vegetation feels confident not only around the brick and wooden walls, but also in the interior of the Ultra-ruin house.
In this project Marco Casagrande positions himself as a gardener and calls the resulting house the “garden of architecture”. Being a single-family dwelling, the Ultra-ruin also serves as an architectural center, observatory, and a center of spiritual practices, in particular, the practice of “post-industrial meditation”.