Taipei-based Xrange Architects have designed the Ant Farm House.

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Description from Xrange Architects

To preserve an existing indigenous stone house, xrange wraps a new layer of 80- 177cm wide by 7m high living spaces around it to create an “extreme” new house of outrageous proportion. Newly added programs are small narrow vertical spaces that interlock like the spaces within an ant colony: the 1.5mx3m study is accessed through a set of 7m tall doors; the 0.8mx5m bathroom holds a guest shower in which hangs the master shower and tub.

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All original window and air conditioner openings were preserved and reassigned different usage: exterior or interior windows, doorways or display nooks. The form strategy creates a “found interior” for the new house from the “internalized exterior” of the old house. The new house, designed as a steel box frame, also acts as lateral structural bracing for the stone house.

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Within the sliver of the new house, small narrow vertical spaces interlock like the spaces within an ant colony. The window openings followed the flow of new spaces and meanders around the new facade.

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The ant farm house is an outrageously proportioned addition to an indigenous rusticated stone house; where newly added spaces are 80cm- 180cm wide and 2 stories tall. The new house functions as a structural envelope that bolsters the
seismic performance of the otherwise weak rubble structure.

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The ad-hoc openings of the old house, including that of defunct air conditioner openings, are preserved as the “found elevation”.Views of surrounding mountains and the city below are revealed through the overlapping of new/external and
old/internal windows.The resultant irregularity gives an unexpected spatial signature to the house.

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Architects: Xrange Architects