Located in a picturesque area on the eastern seaboard of Taiwan, the A’tolan House derives its name from the word “A’tolan” meaning “a place with many rocks” in the indigenous language of that area. The essential premises in creating this building were lending it a minimalist footprint structure and utilising the traditional native architectural techniques developed in this region. Thus, both the landscape structures and natural materials to be found there were consistently integrated. Rocks excavated from the very site served as the foundation for building the east-west walls spanning three levels, much like rice patty terraces. With an unobtrusive, even humble posture in front of the near-by majestic sea, the structure extends with a relatively low profile along the coastline, following its bend and contour as if it wanted to open itself to the sea at an angle of 130 degrees. The interior also merges the principle of naturalness with a purism that satisfies the needs of people staying there for basic shelter, a feeling of comfort and functionality. Hence, the interior of the house consists of cooking areas and sleeping quarters, with all individual spaces being defined and separated by accordion glass doors. The interior opens up to the immensity of the surroundings and creates an aesthetic transition that embraces the open. Based on an impressively sophisticated approach, the architecture of the A’tolan House emerged as a symbiotic interplay with the surrounding landscape – it is infused with its magic.
Statement by the jury
»The A’tolan House fascinates with a clarity that encompasses all aspects equally. From the footprint to the materials chosen for the building, its architecture convincingly integrates the surrounding landscape and its structure. The interior design is functionally well thought-out and perfectly structured. It allows light and air to flow through freely from all directions and creates an atmosphere of relaxation and wellbeing.«