The Masonry, a multi-family house in South Korea designed by stpmj, seeks a playful game of scale in two aspects: the building itself and the bricks in its façade. The site sits at the corner, facing its long-north and short-east sides to the roads. Due to town planning, the entrance and the long side of the house needed to be facing South. This made for a contradictory condition of pitched roof direction and the main face of the house.
Referring to Robert Venturi’s house, the gable is placed along the a long side of the site towards South. Intentionally treating the gable in the opposite position against the typical pitched roof shape for structural and economic efficiency, the Masonry tricks its scale until visitors enter the house. The architects were asked to design a house for two families, but to avoid the appearance of two townhouses. Two kinds of diagonally stacked bricks (100mm x 200mm) and cement blocks (200mm x 400mm) create a singular masonry façade, but also two units of the program nuanced in a single mass.
The building designed for two families is bisected on the East and West. The stairs run as a spine throughout the two units. The stairs go from the first floor to the attic and connect the living room, kitchen, libraries, bedrooms, bathrooms, terraces and the attic studio. They provide dynamic spatial experiences and visual connections through the landings and ceiling changes. Beyond the connection and function of the stairs, this circulation spine is a main structural core of the house. Double height ceiling spaces, terraces on the second floor and attic allow natural lighting and ventilation inside, maintaining controlled heat and humidity levels throughout the four seasons.
Design and info © stpmj
Images © Song Yousub