From the architects:
What is dwelling?
In “Building, Dwelling, Thinking”, Heidegger mentioned about the relationship about dwelling:
“These buildings house man. He inhabits them and yet does not dwell in them, when to dwell means merely that we take shelter in them. In today’s housing shortage even this much is reassuring and to the good; residential buildings do indeed provide shelter; today’s houses may even be well planned, easy to keep, attractively cheap, open to air, light, and sun, but-do the houses in themselves hold any guarantee that dwelling occurs in them? Yet those buildings that are not dwelling places remain in turn determined by dwelling insofar as they serve man’s dwelling.”
In this text, Heidegger is posing a problem of architecture that does not approach to the essence of the dwelling. I still agree with his text. Dwelling as a mechanical device that forces identical lives drives us to repeat conventional spaces. Dwelling that deepen one’s life is not completed be construction, but it is the possibility of active interaction between the dwelling and a dweller, which create a relationship and a new convention in the dweller’s life. Thus, I choose the seven paths to reach to the essence of the architecture: nature, place, border, distance, action, and furniture.
9×9 Experimental House
My first residential project departed with a geometric plan with a strict 9×9 grid system. Similar to Louis Kahn who demonstrated a possibility of unitary spaces in Trenton Bath House (1955) through Andrea Palladio’s geometric system, I personally believe that the validity of geometry creates further possibilities. And it also stands for my first experimental project concerned with how it remains close to dwelling to let it work as a house through the seven paths that approach the essence of dwelling: nature, place, border, distance, behavior, furniture, and minimal architecture.
The house has a two-storied hierarchy: the ground floor has a typical space arrangement of a residential house while the second floor has a unique space structure, which would cause another kind of universality. 9X9 geometric plan, which resembles the shape of Mandala, is an arrangement to embodies the possibility to create new space structure from the absolute geometry. The 9X9 plan is encircled by a furniture corridor is the crucial concept of the house, which inverts the designated behaviors in the defined area. The furniture corridor stores all the functional products and activity of the house with size variation depending on the differently-sized furniture. Another residential project (6X6 House), which is currently in its design process, accommodates with stairway, outdoor space, and other behaviors with the same concept of furniture corridor connecting the vertical and linear circulation. The space of the second corridor with a breadth of 1,000mm to 1,200mm, which abuts on the furniture as the sliding door or the movable partition wall, is not just for the circulation, but contains variability. When all the variable doors of furniture corridor are closed, the existing space is either replaced with an arbitrary area to be created by another behavior or converted to one incorporated area.
In addition, with this house, I suggest few methods for blurring a border between interior and exterior. Firstly, the heterogeneous interior areas are composed of the transparency of glass. As exterior is inserted a midst the expanded interior spaces, thus, new spaces are created while borders blur through respective arbitrary areas. The exterior spaces inserted into the interior constitute another exterior area within the interior space, and that let us experience the outdoor space through the porosity on the ceiling, which is composed of 1200x1200mm and 1800x1800mm modules. Secondly, the porosity module that shrouds the exterior wall of the house creates the illusion that the outside landscape smoothly has come inside and one is in natural settings. Like this, the visual experience of the landscape that has come in through the porosity gets boosted through the repeated sequence of interior and exterior.
The interior area following the furniture corridor does not contain any partitions or doors to separate rooms; it distinguishes areas by the 150mm difference between floor levels. The transparency of the glass that forms the interior area creates another sense of physical distance in the dwelling space, while the exterior gardens that permeate the interior have their exclusive sky thanks to the porosity on the ceiling. The light percolating through the chasms comes inside to shed the shadow of the invisible wall, or soaks its body in the rain in a wooden bathtub that resembles the size of the building located in the garden with ambiguous inside and outside, or the silent winter-long snowfall whitewashes the interior space. Experiencing all these phenomena will be possible in another arbitrary area that would excite the primeval experience so far latent in nature.
The light percolating through the chasms comes inside to shed the shadow of the invisible wall, or soaks its body in the rain in a wooden bathtub that resembles the size of the building located in the garden with ambiguous inside and outside, or the silent winter-long snowfall whitewashes the interior space. Experiencing all these phenomena may start in this place dwelling through the primeval experience, which has so far been latent in nature.
Text by Younghan Chung