c laboratory: ruin academy
c laboratory: ruin academy c laboratory: ruin academy
oct 05, 2010

c laboratory: ruin academy

‘ruin academy’ by c- laboratory all photos © adda courtesy c – laboratory




‘ruin academy’, taipei, taiwan is an independent cross-over architectural research centre in the urban core -area of taipei, taiwan. the academy is run in co-operation between the finnish based casagrande laboratory and taiwanese JUT foundation for arts & architecture. ruin academy is ‘set to re-think the industrial city and the man in the box’. it organizes workshops and courses for various taiwanese and international universities including the national taiwan university department of sociology, tamkang university department of architecture, aalto university sustainable global technologies centre and helsinki university of arts and design department of environmental art. the research and design tasks move freely in-between architecture, urban design, environmental art and other disciplines of art and science within the general framework of built human environment.


the ruin academy occupies an abandoned 5-story apartment building in central taipei. all the interior walls of the building and all the windows are removed in order to grow bamboo and vegetables inside the house. the professors and students sleep and work in mahogany made ad-hoc dormitories and have a public sauna on the 5th floor. the building is penetrated with 6 inch holes in order to let ‘rain inside. the academy is viewed as an example or fragment of a third generation city, the organic ruin of  the industrial city.

the basement level

trees grow from below the floorboard

the lounge

the vegetable garden

the dormitory

bathroom area

outdoor fireplace

the passageway to the sauna

the sauna

the exterior of the building

plants grown on the balconies

the 5 story apartment block

basement level drawing by marco casagrande

study level drawing by marco casagrande


drawing by marco casagrande



floor plan drawing by marco casagrande



floor plan drawing by marco casagrande



floor plan drawing by marco casagrande



project info:


500 m2 / 5 floors, 20 m deep, 5 m wide. concrete, mahogany, white gravel, top-soil, 6 inch holes. bamboo, taro, chinese cabbage, passion fruit, aspenium nidus, wild trees, ferns and undergrowth.

basement – blown open and filled with top soil. – construction waste for a drainage layer. – 5 olive trees.

1st floor, ‘archive’ – 6 inch segments of the house on white stones. – 6 inch holes in the long facade. – mahogany bridge over the basement-hole. – pile of dirt in the far corner with taro. – fire-place.

2nd floor, ‘student dormitory’ – mahogany sleeping unit for 4 students. – working tables growing bamboo, mahogany. – vegetable garden with passion fruit, aspenium nidus and chinese cabbage. – 6 inch holes through the floor and ceiling. – kitchen and toilet.

3rd floor, ‘professor’s deck’ – mahogany bed on wheels. – bamboo growing through windows. – 6 inch holes through the floor and ceiling. – kitchen and toilet.

4th floor, ‘lounge’ – stage. – bamboo growing through windows. – 6 inch holes through the floor and ceiling. – toilet. – fire-place.

5th floor, ‘sauna’ – public sauna, all mahogany – best sauna in the pacific. – chill-out room, white stones. – showers with bamboo and taro. – 6 inch hole.

  • I don’t see a lot of plants here. I see design work for the interior. They could grow more plant materials on the roof.

    rcvs1 says:
  • Excellent work using an abandon space, I´m impressed. Too bad the authority here in Sweden wouldn´t except such plans, and due to the weather it´s impossible. But great work!

    Daniel says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
493,010 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample