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Studio APL: The countryside has increasingly been the topic of discussion in recent years. From urban planning and land use zoning, there is an ambiguity of mixed-use structure that often wanders on the edge of regulations. It has brought many chaotic, rough but self-contained miniature spatial patterns. In Zhutian, we try to explore how to regenerate the structures left by the agricultural relics through several projects.




Dexing Rice Factory, built in 1942, is the grain bureau for the rural area of Pingtung in southern Taiwan. Once place for rice storage and for children to play and it has remained the Hakka house (Huo fáng) in everyone’s mind.


▽项目与周边环境 Project and Surrounding Environment


住商混合的透天厝 A mixed house of residence and business


Taking “old” as the origin of the concept, we reorganized the private warehouse buildings and landscape fields in front of the existing wooden structure train station. Our design retains the old structures and explores the disappearing traditional Hakka building typology (Huo fáng). We think, design and work closely together with local partners. In practice, through the materials and construction methods commonly used by the local people, the familiarity of memory is reconfigured and perpetuated; the long-term heat of Pingtung and the humid rainy days in July and August each year, were an important consideration to find out possible architectural forms and one that would spatially reflect the contemporary life style. We try to find a symbiotic dialogue and exchange through materiality, on the texture of the mixed house, the building type known as Tòu tiān cuò by the Taiwanese people, and the iron warehouse. Taking Zhutian Township as the base for the settlement space, to create the new neighborhood relationship belonging to the south.


▽立面概念草图 Façade concept sketch

▽建筑与周边环境形成对比 The building contrasts with its surroundings


51口 51 Voids


The predecessor of De Hostel was the Grain Bureau, it was also the original family home of Mr. Zhang De Cai, the founder of Dexing Rice Factory. After the third generation of Zhang sisters, it became the first site in Zhutian to provide visitor accommodation. The building type of Tòu tiān cuò is a common living space in rural settlements. This used to be next to the warehouse of Dexing Rice Factory. After the decline of the industry, the warehouse buildings and the grain bureau were divided and were made independent with different landlords. The old grain bureau was also rented out to outsiders in the past. In 2018, when we were discussing with the Zhang sisters how present the lively scenery at the grain bureau, this became the main topic of thinking. The old truss footholds of the mountain-shaped roof trusses were left on the outer wall of the existing building, and the‘voids’were arranged in an orderly manner on the reinforced brickwork as part of the old roof truss wooden beams, embedded into the brick wall.


▽新旧空间架构分析图 Analysis diagram of old and new space architecture




The new exterior wall retains the old wooden beam voids, and recreates 51 voids with different functions such as; window openings, wind openings, light openings, plant openings, memory voids, small voids that birds can live etc.  The new building skin is hand-made and expressed through the traditional stone washing method and the small red stones on the wall feel like rice grains.


▽51口立面设计图 Elevation of mouth 51

▽建筑立面 building facade

▽传统洗石子工法呈现的建筑外立面 The facade of the building presented by the traditional stone washing method

▽功能各不相同的框口 Frames with different functions



Due to the division of land property rights an opening was cut. The entrance of the hostel on the ground floor retreats back to form a resident’s front yard and the street space can also be extended to make an internal semi-outdoor space. The private area on the ground floor is semi-open to the public on weekends creating a small gathering space.


▽转角结构设计分析 Corner structure design analysis

▽沿街道望向建筑 Street looking at buildings

▽入口区域 Entrance area

▽锈迹斑驳的LOGO展示 Rusty and mottled LOGO display



The pool in the atrium is a visual line that guides people along its edge towards the entrance of the building. The water source is drawn from the abundant groundwater layer and the microclimate can be adjusted on a sunny afternoon. When there is no water, the small square can be used for events and activities.


▽中庭景观浅水池 Atrium landscape wading pool



The glass roof is made of brick-red volcanic stones to achieve a shading effect. The sun shines through the stone gaps and the light and shadow are sprinkled on the terrazzo floor.


▽庭院玻璃房 Courtyard Glass Room




The vertical circulation forms a natural wind tunnel from the bottom to the top, a low-tech construction method. Now 51 years later, by preserving the old atmosphere and reimagining and recreating the new neighborhood relationship. Let the members of the extended family have a place to return to and opportunity to meet again in the architecture.


▽建筑拱形结构入口 Arched structure entrance

▽伴着自然包裹的旋转楼梯向上 Go up with the spiral staircase wrapped in nature

▽保留历史氛围的动线空间 Vertical moving line of industrial atmosphere



The second floor is a six-bed backpack room, bathroom area and lounge. Each independent bed has its own storage and clothes space.


▽二楼起居室 living room



On the third floor, the garden in the middle serves as the focal point of the two family rooms. From here follow the spiral staircase up to the top garden and the owner’s room.


▽四楼露天花园鸟瞰 Aerial view of open air garden

▽四楼屋主房间 Owner’s room

▽镂空设计的旋转楼梯 Hollow design spiral staircase

▽静谧的傍晚时分 Quiet evening


新的邻里关系与半公共性的院落建筑 New Neighborhood Relations and Semi-Public Courtyard Architecture


时间是记忆的剖面。每件旧的人事物都该思考如何被友善的对待与保存,竹田乡的重造旧业会持续的耕耘下去,旧的边界也逐步形塑新的院落伙房空间 。

We ask whether architecture can improve the public environment. After the third and fourth generations of the family took over the operation, the hostel has built a pocket garden through the open space on the ground floor, connecting to the market in Zhutian Yiyuan park on weekends. This opening guides visitors into the private space and the guests staying at the hostel to participate together though activities. It is available to rent for various events and activities both day and night, and will also become the home of the big family.

Time is the section of memory. All old things should be considered, treated and preserved in careful manner. This reuse and redesign of the old industrial buildings in Zhutian Township will continue to evolve, and the old boundary will gradually shape the new courtyard housing space.


▽空间结构分析&平面图 Spatial Structure Analysis&Plan

▽模型 Model

▽西立面图 west elevation

▽北立面图 north elevation

▽南立面图 south elevation

▽A-A’剖面图 Section view



▽B-B’剖面图 Section view

▽C-C’剖面图 Section view





项目名称:德旅店 De-Hostel
项目面积:189.69m² (楼地板面积)
摄影师:Yi-Hsien Lee and associates photography & Ciao, Pie & Mai studio & Studio APL

Project name: De-Hostel
Completion Year: November 2021
Project area: 189.69m² (Total Floor Area)
Project location: Pingtung County, Taiwan
Design company: Studio APL
Company website: http://www.sapl.com.tw/
Contact email: sapl2006@gmail.com
Chief Designer: Li Pei-An
Design Team: Li Pei-An, Li Pei-Chen, Chen Hui-Chi, Sung Yu-Feng
Client: De-Hostel
Photographer: Yi-Hsien Lee and associates photography & Ciao, Pie & Mai studio & Studio APL




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