2011 ULTRA RUIN model at Taipei World Design Expo
This house is build up like a bonfire, around which people, jungle, farms and water
can gather and feel connected. Also, like with building up a fire, this house needs air
– gaps and holes are equally important to the materials and structure. The bio-climatic
architecture is more related to a walk in a forest, than hiding from the elements into a
closed box.

The Ultra-Ruin celebrates the ever changing balance of Existence Maximum between
the human nature and the surrounding jungle. This is a third generation architectural
condition: the man has come back into the ruin.

•First a man goes into the jungle and cleans a spot for his house. Man is in, nature
is out.

•When the man moves away, jungle will step into the house. This is what we call a
ruin: something man-made has become part of nature.

•Jungle does not want everything; plenty of space is left for the man to come
back. This suggests to the Ultra-Ruin, where the same space is shared by nature
and human nature.

The Ultra-Ruin in Taipei is situated in the no-man's land in-between the terraced
farms and the jungle. It is growing from the original ruins of a red-brick farmhouse.
There is a table and spaces around the table. One will tune the architecture by his
physical presence in the space; the standard “in or out” does not work here. Even
the inside is out. This architecture is more of a landscape or a terraced architectural
farm than a structure and it requires some physical effort and alertness from the
man to farm this space. The architect is a gardener; the Ultra-Ruin is a garden of

We have all the comforts of the modern world: sauna, fire-place, water, sleeping
deck etc.

The Ultra-Ruin is used by a private family for normal family activities and for post-
industrial meditation. The house is also an independent cross-over architectural
research-centre, jungle observatory and some sort of a monastery.

Architect: Marco Casagrande / Casagrande Laboratory

C-LAB Team: Nikita Wu, Frank Chen, Yu-Chen Chiu

C-LAB photographer : AdDa Zai

Location: Yang-Ming Mountain, Taipei, Taiwan

Covered spaces: 280 m2

Terraces: 440 m2
Materials: Mahogany, Zelkova, recycled Taiwanese Cypruss,

Completed: 2011
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