Maan Recuperation Center / Murong Nature & Care / Ziyuan Herbal Treatment

Concept, Design, and Construction
Hsinchu, Taiwan
Design / October,2004–October,2005
Building / November,2005–November 2006
Site Area / 10975.00㎡
Subtotal Area / 2733.00㎡

Maan Recuperation Center

Located in Zhubei, this is a women’s care center. On the land of her childhood memories, the owner wishes to preserve her memories and use “nature” as the key concept for the development. It includes multiple facilities that are developed in two phases. The first facility, Maan Recuperation Center, surrounding two golden shower trees, was arranged as two arms enclosing a green courtyard. The second development contains two facilities: Murong Nature & Care centered on an old banyan tree, and Ziyuan Herbal Treatment next to tropical almond trees.

The owner’s families are nature lovers. With this principle, the owner demanded the development to be low-density and low-rise, even though the site is in a prime location allowed for high-density development. Maan Recuperation Center was envisaged to be two open arms holding the nature like a mother’s arms encircling, loving, and tending to her baby.

The courtyard, surrounded by the building on three sides, is covered in green lawns and has two old golden shower trees. In summertime, yellow flowers of golden shower trees fill the courtyard with cheeriness and happiness. The beautiful view is shared by recuperating mothers through a corridor, along the courtyard, connecting rooms for maternal cares. By opening their doors, mothers may rest under the natural skylight to enjoy the sunshine and greenery.

At both ends of the corridors are the corners for contemplation. These are corners for family gatherings. With views to the green lawns and big trees and filtered sunlight, family members may share their happiness in tranquility.

Murong Nature & Care ・ Ziyuan Herbal

Dancing with an old banyan tree is the core concept for the design of Murong Nature & Care.With lush leaves and exuberant branches, the old banyan tree receives guests at the entrance. Underneath the branches, a concrete wall was built, with matching heights, to prevent a clear view of the spaces behind. To access the spaces behind, guests have to follow the wall all the way to reach the other side.

Twisting and turning along the wall, the figure of the banyan tree seems like a dancing woman. The process of entering into the building is an experience of dancing with the banyan: moving along, passing under it, and caressing its body. The dance is accompanied by sounds of cascading water and the fragrance of flowers and herbs. The bodily movement and the sensual engagement initiate the relaxation of one’s mind.

The natural wood front door opens to a grand lobby full of natural light and greenery seen through the curtain wall façade. A colonnade of 27 natural tree trunks / branches may immediately catch the eyes of guests. Weaving into the colonnade are lively butterflies hand made by metal artists. Behind the colonnade is an elegant staircase leading to the second floor.

Aromatherapy rooms, on the second floor, are overlooking a forest of camphor and evergreen ash trees. The woods are a buffer to the traffic noise, as well as a protection of privacy. Resting corners-outside of the therapy rooms allow guests to enjoy the outdoor greenery and find serenity. In a glass box extruded out of the building, the staircase to the third floor is where guests encounter the old banyan tree again. It is a good place to observe birds dancing on the branches. On the third floor, there are classrooms for yoga and cooking lessons, as well as a roof patio providing a very special top view of the woods and a meeting place for members.

The building of Murong Nature & Care finds its support from the old banyan tree. In so doing, the architectural spaces, the people in the spaces, as well as their bodies and minds, all find their support.

Ziyuan Herbal Treatment, located on the other side of Maan Recuperation Center, offers Chinese herbal treatment for the holistic caring of body and mind. Using concrete walls as backdrops, the architecture plays the supporting role for nature, the sunlight, and the greenery, on stage. Named after a Chinese herbal medicine, Ziyuan, the treatment center is designed according to the harmonious relationship people should have with nature.

Filled with sunlight, green and shadows, the waiting room connects the entrance to the reception area and the pharmacy. Outer exam rooms open onto a reflecting pool inviting abundant skylight, while inner exam rooms receive the natural light permeating from outer exam rooms through lattice windows in their brick partition walls. Exam room walls are decorated with paper-cut artwork of 24 seasonal markers reminding people to care for themselves according to seasonal changes.