HAO Design converts 1980s townhouse into furniture shop and cafe in Taiwan
A skinny townhouse in the Taiwanese port city of Kaohsiung has been transformed into a brightly lit cafe and furniture store by local studio HAO Design.
Located in the city's Zuoying district, the once dark and compartmentalised property has been transformed by removing internal walls and a disruptive staircase to open up the split-level space.
"First we removed the solid walls separating the staggered floors, and moved the stairs outdoors to expand the interior, so that light from the atrium can enter," HAO Design explained.
"We expanded the space by using glass, which allows light to penetrate freely, also improving interactivity. Now, each space can interact with their neighbours."
House H now serves as a furniture store and cafe, which is set over its original split levels surrounding a sky-lit atrium.
The skinny building, which comprises an open-plan kitchen and dining area as well living spaces and bathrooms, is also occasionally used as a ready furnished residence by its owner.
Due to the relocation of the staircase, these rooms are connected by external circulation, which forces visitors to weave in and out to explore the building.
Throughout the store's interiors, HAO Design has teamed a simple material palette of oak and concrete with bright white walls to draw attention to the items on sale.
Additionally, a white finish has been added to the external walls of the building to raw attention to the "beautiful characteristics of the townhouse".
The renovation works also included the introduction of courtyards spaces, aimed to improve the quality of the exterior spaces for visitors to the shop and cafe.
The open-plan kitchen and dining room opens out onto a sheltered space at the front of the building and a timber decked courtyard at the back, while an angled living room on the top floor forms a platform that overlooks the street.
HAO Design has also carried out several other renovations in Kaohsiung, including a house reconfiguration aimed to put emphasis on its garden, and a revamp of a cramped apartment to create a modern a family home.
Photography by Hey!Cheese