The Masonry, a multi-family house in Korea, seeks a playful game of “scale” in two aspects, the building itself and bricks in its façade. The site sits at the corner, facing its long-north and short-east sides to the roads. Due to the town planning, the entrance and the long side of house need to be facing South. It makes a contradictory condition of pitched roof direction and the main face of the house. Referring Robert Venturi’s House the gable is placed along with a long side of the site towards South. Intentionally treating the gable in opposite position against typical pitched roof shape for structural and economic efficiency the Masonry tricks its scale until visitors enter the house. We were asked to design a house for two families but the house would avoid the appearance of two town houses. Diagonally stacked two kinds of bricks (100mm x 200mm) and cement blocks (200mm x 400mm) creates a singular masonry façade but also nuanced two units of program in a single mass.

The house composed of two families, bisected East and West. The stairs run as a spine throughout two units. The stairs from the first floor to attic and connects living room, kitchen, libraries, rooms, bath rooms, terraces and attic studio. This climbing up provides dynamic spatial experiences and visual connections through landing and ceiling changes. Beyond the connection and function of the stairs, this circulation spine becomes a main structural core in the house. Double height ceiling spaces, terraces in the second floor and attic allow natural lighting and ventilation inside keeping controls heat and humidity through four seasons.

Originally published in Architect Magazine.