The Black House – A Homey Villa That Blends Hospitality With Great Coffee

Seeing all this lush greenery and the open and serene landscape it’s hard to believe that this is a place in Taiwan. Located in Yilan, the Black House is one of the few such peaceful retreats. With a total interior living space of 460 square meters, this is a sort of hybrid between a café and a cozy hotel. The project was completed in 2017 with the help of the architects from C3 and interior designer Po-Lin Chen.

The building opens up to a large area covered in lush greenery and blends in surprisingly wellView in gallery
The building opens up to a large area covered in lush greenery and blends in surprisingly well
The black exterior of the building is what gave the project its nameView in gallery
The black exterior of the building is what gave the project its name
The Black House is structured into two zones with distinct functions and has two separate entrancesView in gallery
The Black House is structured into two zones with distinct functions and has two separate entrances

Initially, the idea was to create a venue for parties, wine tastings and hospitality in general. The final decision, however, went into a slightly different direction. The building ended up looking like a large barn with a a matte black exterior and an asymmetrical gable roof. It’s structured on three floors, with the café and reception area occupying the ground floor and the guest rooms the other two levels.

The street-facing side of the building has a bit more character, featuring different materials and color tonesView in gallery
The street-facing side of the building has a bit more character, featuring different materials and color tones
One of the entrances features a large pivot door in an orange-brown shade which contrasts with the black facadeView in gallery
One of the entrances features a large pivot door in an orange-brown shade which contrasts with the black facade

Given that there are two different zones with different functions inside the building, the Black House has two separate entrances, one for the café guests and the other for the house guests. This division ensures privacy for everyone. One of the entrances has a large barn-style sliding door and the other features a pivot door. They both add character to the building.

One of the two zones inside the building is a cafe and its interior design has prominent industrial detailsView in gallery
One of the two zones inside the building is a cafe and its interior design has prominent industrial details
The interior of the cafe is very welcoming and homey in spite of the prominent metal elements and overall simplicityView in gallery
The interior of the cafe is very welcoming and homey in spite of the prominent metal elements and overall simplicity
The interior design of the structure, as a whole, is simple but also full of character thanks to quirky little details like these hangersView in gallery
The interior design of the structure, as a whole, is simple but also full of character thanks to quirky little details like these hangers

The café is very homey and welcoming, featuring strong industrial-style influences toned down by warm wood accents. Guests can choose from a variety of different types of tables and seats, including large and rectangular tables, small tables with dining chairs and cocktail tables with bar stools.

The exposed wooden beams on the ceiling represent one of the design directions which help to make the spaces feel homeyView in gallery
The exposed wooden beams on the ceiling represent one of the design directions which help to make the spaces feel homey
The ground floor of the structure is occupied for the most part by the cafe, the rest being a reception zoneView in gallery
The ground floor of the structure is occupied for the most part by the cafe, the rest being a reception zone
The materials used throughout the interior are simple and raw for the most part, including concrete, brick, wood and metalView in gallery
The materials used throughout the interior are simple and raw for the most part, including concrete, brick, wood and metal
As far as the color palette is concerned, the nuances are kept neutral and revolve around shades of brownView in gallery
As far as the color palette is concerned, the nuances are kept neutral and revolve around shades of brown and grey
There are various common areas spread all across the building, each inviting guests to interact and to mingleView in gallery
There are various common areas spread all across the building, each inviting guests to interact and to mingle

As an overall impression, this villa is a very homey place, with lots of spaces where guests can interact with each other and spend time together, whether it’s at a cup of coffee or in one of the common living spaces which connect the suites.

The top two floors house a series of guest rooms of various types and dimensions, each with its own decor themeView in gallery
The top two floors house a series of guest rooms of various types and dimensions, each with its own decor theme
Even though each room is aesthetically different from the others, they all stay within the boundaries of the overall style of the projectView in gallery
Even though each room is aesthetically different from the others, they all stay within the boundaries of the overall project style
The guest rooms offer views of the lush greenery and the distant landscapeView in gallery
The guest rooms offer views of the lush greenery and the distant landscape

In total the Black House offers six guest rooms, each featuring its own distinctive style, interior design and theme. All, however, are cozy, welcoming and homey. They range in size and looks and they’re all spread across and first and second floors. The house offers rooms for couples, for families – they are a sort of house within the house, as well as a special suite which has its own entrance and a secret garden.

Large windows invite the outdoors in and allow the fresh greenery to complement the indoor color paletteView in gallery
Large windows invite the outdoors in and allow the fresh greenery to complement the indoor color palette
Each s=guest room has its own distinct layout, design and internal organizationView in gallery
Each guest room has its own distinct layout, design and internal organization

The special suite with private entrance and garden is perfect for those who prefer complete privacy and autonomy but at the same the guests are welcome to enjoy the common area situated on the second floor. Here groups can relax together, chat, befriend other guests and enjoy each other’s company.

One of the guest rooms is special in the sense that it has its own entrance garden and poolView in gallery
One of the guest rooms is special in the sense that it has its own entrance and small garden
View in gallery
The garden adds a fresh touch to this special suite, compensating for a not so impressive view
The bathrooms lack large openings but are in turn very cozy and welcoming in their own wayView in gallery
The bathrooms lack large openings but are in turn very cozy and welcoming in their own way