Taipei-based studio Waterfrom Design used a palette of monochrome materials to create the interiors of this apartment in Taiwan. In a colorless world, without the resonance and meanings from colors, the familiar daily objects become strange; hence, the outline and layout of light and shadow are appreciated from a new perspective.
The design in this case is characterized by the removal of mixture of colors and the use of binary logic of simply black and white. According to the client’s preference for color, Waterfrom Design views the color design of this pace as monochrome painting: the outline, texture of objects, as well as the three-dimensional sense shaped by light and shadow can indeed by accentuated without the interference of colors.
However, the pure color is not only the black and white that are absolute and at opposite ends; varied shades of gray between black and white could be created, just as Picasso’s “Marie-Thérèse, Face and Profile”, so that the multitude of shades of gray can be harmoniously entwined between black and white, showing various parts of the shadow. The pure colors pacify the complex contours, thus allowing people to enjoy the nuance of details. The grayscale leaves room for simple imagination on reality.
In this space, Waterfrom Design use black as a primary color to express the texture. A 4-meter long dining table is placed across the public area, of which the top is made from the natural volcanic rock. This ore-rock with natural texture and density on its surface highlights the original power of objects in the environment of clean and homogeneous color blocks.
The thick black line breaks the habitual arrangement in a long open space, and constructs a visual focus between the window and view. By linking the black reading corner beside the entryway with the axle of bedroom area at the other end, the indoor movements flow freely between the two sides. Also, a hint of Burgundy red under the tabletop expresses a cool dramatic effect in a silent film-like field, which is transient but impressive.
Black is the color that leads visual focus horizontally to another key area – the VIPP kitchen with a pure matte black facade. The team uses the outline design characteristics of quasi-furniture, and extend various black elements to constitute the layers of open space. Waterfrom Design splices and stacks black blocks with different textures: dark black, matte black, charred black, coarse black, super-fine black, stone-cold black, tranquil black, mellow black. In the past, black was generally used for the shadow in the painting. It purified many other colors and at the same time broke through the limitations of black itself. The shadow has a deep or shallow rhythmic variation through the intensity of light reflected by daylight on its surface.
At the end of the dining table, the long grayish-white wall vertical to the reflective surface creates super-shallow shades with equally spaced cutting lines. The ceiling system of matching color, gray hand-painted beam-column structure, and the beige gray flooring of the same large area, together are the expression of light color opposite to the black. They are not pure white color, but complement each other to convey a sense of light on canvas. Between black and white, dark and light, these light color gently derive rich layers and integrate the shapes and contours harmoniously.
Life is repetitively playing the long scroll of daily memories. Even using the contrasting colors of black and white for home décor, we can apply various materials to add the subtlety to the variation of monochrome, and make it impressive. The gray color of different tonalities diminishes the sharpness brought by black and white, as the shadows with different concentrations and lengths at different times recorded in the same drawing, adding a sense of tenderness needed in true life.