BMT started as a simple architecture firm, in order to realize its environmental vision in the industry, BMT took upon itself to integrate the construction industry supply chain and devoted itself to ecological development. In recent years, BMT proposed two solutions to alleviate urban settlement. The Urban Mountains series is an urban dwelling project serving as a model for urban development that incorporates ecological and environmental values. The Pushan Village represents suburban life, which is a development strategy to transfer urban residents to neighboring suburbs in an appropriate way suited to the suburban environment. Pushan Village is located in Dakeng, Taichung on a small hill that is the extension of Touke Shan mountain range. Twenty-eight family homes are built on the hill with height difference of about 20 meters from one another. The village is situated on a south-facing foothill that receives plenty of sunlight, but the location has been pestered by biting midges for many years, which is a problem desperately needing a solution.
To regulate the disrupted ecosystem, the team proposed the biting midge moving plan. After studying the ecological habits of biting midges, the team decided not to use pesticides, instead, the team actively improved the village’s topsoil and surfacing, to keep the bare soil from becoming a breeding ground for the biting midges. At the same time, a wind corridor is planned for the village, and the surrounding agricultural area is designated as a buffer zone, which greatly reduced the density of biting midges. In addition, high-level ecosystem restoration is simultaneously being carried out. The restoration effort implemented the same environmental standards and water quality for restoring fireflies as the environmental indicator.
Modern courtyard house is the main style of the family homes. The L-shaped family homes formed a space into a courtyard, and between the family homes and courtyard is a semi-open veranda. The design allows residents to adapt to the hot and rainy climate of Taiwan and to give each home great sunlight and ventilation condition.
At the entrance of Pushan Village stands a community centre that served as a assembly hall for the village residents. The centre has a sloped wooden roof and a straight windcatcher on the top, together, the two elements form the image of the mountain village. The community centre is BMT’s brainchild born out of a research project tempting to create a natural ventilation for buildings. The windcatcher is wrapped in metal material, when the sun beats on the surface of the tower, the heat will create a stack effect and draws indoor air upward, creating a convection. Air inlets are installed on the floating raft foundation underneath the community centre, allowing the cool subsurface air to cool down the hot air inside. Inside the raft foundation, BMT created a winding, puzzlelike corridor system to filter, cool, and dehumidify air that flows through it, keeping air that makes its way indoor cool and comfortable.
To compliment the community centre’s natural ventilation concept, the building materials mainly use natural materials consist of wood and earth. The semi-open spaces created by the extended eaves and the ecological waterscape surrounding the architecture, showcase BMT’s culminated experiences on developing natural houses in recent years. Actual testing shows that even during Taiwan ‘s hottest summer days, the community centre indoor temperature remains between 25~28 °C all year round, which readily reduce the use of air conditioning.
Pushan Village is situated on the ridge of a mountain. To the east of the village is Touke Shan mountain range which served as the main visual focus and landmark. Being on a ridge made retaining water difficult, however, in order to create a water ecosystem for wildlife restoration and achieve to establish an ecovillage, an artificial brook that runs through the village from east to west is created. The brook serves as the center piece of Pushan Village landscape. The artificial wild brook is modeled after the natural streams near the ridge. Having the wild brook running through the houses creates a distinctive sense of being in the presence of a unique geographical feature.
To restore wildlife, wild brook’s main water source comes from recycled rainwater. Culverts are used to store the water while power equipment are used to re-circulating water. Rugged river rocks littered in the brook that has a 20-meter height differences, creating a cascading effect that greatly increase the oxygen level in the water, which is beneficial in restoring Taiwan native river fishes. The wild brook is composed of several sections, but to keep the wild feeling of the brook, the functions of the sections are not specifically defined. Instead, residents are encouraged to gradually become part of the cascading river, learn how to use and enjoy this bio-inspired landscape.