Original BTC Taipei / Soar Design Studio

Architects: Soar Design Studio
Area: 119 m² (1281 ft²)
Year: 2022
Photography: Hey! Cheese
Lead Architect: Ray Chang
Designer: Joyce Wu
City: Taipei
Country: China

Original BTC Taipei, a gallery project by Soar Design Studio, transforms the first floor of an old duplex apartment into an immersive exhibition space. Located near Zhongshan MRT station, this 1281 ft² space blends Eastern and Western elements, using traditional Taiwanese imagery and innovative lighting arrangements to create a dynamic, nature-inspired environment. Completed in 2022, the project blurs the line between indoors and outdoors, encouraging visitors to explore and reflect on the aesthetic and functional aspects of lighting.

Original btc taipei / soar design studio

Situated in a quiet alley near Zhongshan MRT station, the gallery occupies the first floor of an old 4-story duplex apartment building. The design captures a nostalgic view of Taipei, with a traditional temple called “You-chou” directly opposite, enriching the local scene. For four decades, the house served as a general office. The kitchenette was opened up and integrated into the gallery space, while the original red embossed floor tiles retain traces of the old house. The backyard, previously an extended warehouse, was transformed into an outdoor garden. The entrance wall was pushed back to create an interior courtyard, introducing the view from the front yard to blur spatial boundaries and create intrigue.

The design aims to disrupt the stereotypes of an exhibition hall by presenting it closer to a gallery and exhibition space, changing the lighting experience for visitors.

The inspiration for the design comes from the appreciation of lighting in nature, such as in the mountains or forests. The design seeks to recreate the warm and natural imagery of these environments. The BTC lighting device is influenced by the natural view of the mountain and forest. The arrangement of yakisugi hints at a “backlit” forest, creating a sense of déjà vu for natural surroundings. The circular routes remind visitors of meandering in the mountains, providing an immersive experience and imagination for viewers as they explore the lighting devices.

The circular routes make exploring the exhibits more engaging, with changing views creating diverse impressions of the space. The “borrowed scenery” from the front and back yards blurs the boundary between indoors and outdoors, adding a sense of nature and ambiguity to the space. The gallery, designed with and without light, features a beautiful view in both states, encouraging viewers to see lighting devices as aesthetic and functional. The immersive approach invites deeper reflection and contemplation on the space and lighting devices.

Local Taiwanese imagery inspires the design, combining oriental impressions and textures with Western lighting craftsmanship. The “scattered perspective” technique from Eastern paintings is used to stack all the scenery in one space, creating a continuous visual sense. The design includes elements like plants and rocks extending from outside into the house and red lanterns reflecting Western lights, using the concept of scattered perspective to overlap the space.

The design aims to present the natural “chi” atmosphere, transforming Eastern painting techniques into the space. The theme includes the three forms of water in nature—solid, liquid, and gas—depicted through white spots on the ceiling and walls and white flowers in the forest of lights. The aim is to introduce a sense of cloud and fog, creating a dynamic composition.

Transparent wave boards, a common local material, express the texture of rain, adding atmosphere to the space and reflecting the essence of Eastern painting techniques.

Visitors are encouraged to immerse themselves in this natural, East-meets-West space, experiencing different landscapes as they move through the gallery. The design aims to create a natural, flowing composition, with the whole picture of a forest revealed at the end of the hall. The natural coating and local oyster shell texture complement the overall design, integrating natural elements throughout the space.

Original btc taipei / soar design studio
Project Gallery
Project Location

Address; No. 12, Lane 73, Section 3, Minsheng East Road, Zhongshan District, Taipei City, China 10491

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