A bold perforated metal facade, contemporary, rustic and sophisticated interiors and a precise suite of materials are some of the elements that characterize the Hotel Proverbs in Taipei, designed by Ray Chen and Partners.
Those, along with masterful planning that skirts the boundaries of planning and development regulations in the region, make for a dynamic structure that blends volumes and massing seamlessly, allowing the context (to extent) direct the architecture. Here’s a description from the architects,
The site of Hotel Proverbs is located at the heart of Taipei City central where the MRT, night market, department stores, public park and densely occupied apartments create a vibrant and busy area 24-7. To take full advantage of – and to mediate – this lively and yet extremely intricate urban condition, the building splits diagonally into two parts: the upper 42 hotel rooms and the lower hotel amenities. The lower part is pushed back from the park side to make space for the trees indigenous to the site. The upper part, on the other hand, is shifted forward to lean into the park while maintaining an accommodating distance from the apartments closely situated behind the hotel.
Between these two volumes, there is a stepping void linking a bakery, a restaurant, the hotel reception, the lounge bar and an outdoor cigar terrace at different levels, creating one flowing and continuous space. This void, by day, brings in light, air and the vibrant street life to its guests, luring them out to the cityscape or sit by the balcony to take them in. At night, the chandeliers hanging high above the grand dining hall add a subtle touch of glamour as well as an interesting contrast to the busy night market layered in the background.
Taking on two challenges with one solution was the best part of the project: designing a small 42-room hotel with a mixed and overwhelming environment; and creating a luxurious entity to quietly contrast the crowded, busy night market.
The black, metal screen façade veils the main volume and communicates between its two seemingly contradicting spaces. It serves as a strong signature to the architecture, allowing the building to shad itself, while guarding its guests’ privacy. The openings of the screen are oriented in such a way that allows people from afar to see through but gradually blinds the view in when one approaches. The design aims to encourage its guests to truly experience the local life, while enjoying the exclusive quality stay the hotel has to offer.