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Beyond the Screen is a new type of residential complex, located in Naebalsan-dong, Seoul. The existing condition of this residential neighborhood is no different from most other neighborhoods, with multi-plex housing having held the majority. The aim of this project was to offer a compact spatial richness for living, while finding new architectural solutions in satisfying the specific needs of the user, client, as well as contributing to the improvement of the typically generic townscape so familiar in Korea.

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The building sits at a corner condition and is formed by a cutting and shaping of the volume by influences of the site regulations such as setback lines and natural light requirements. The outer appearance is a single mass, however, it is actually two masses bridged by a semi-exterior central stairwell with a unique brick screen to the front and back, forming an H-shaped plan, with a skipped floor structure from the east to west. This five-story building incorporates both residential and commercial functions – the first floor with a café and a piloti parking space, and from the second to fifth floors, four different unit types making up 14 different units in total.

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From a user’s perspective, the design took into consideration the following four points: 1. Courtyard: Upon entering the building, one encounters the courtyard with a semi-exterior stairwell that provides access to each of the 14 units, with a unique brick screen to the front and back. This screen filters the view into the building from the front, while allowing for the right amount of natural light and ventilation, creating a far more pleasant atmosphere in and around a stairwell. The sun light that filters through the bricks makes for a lovely courtyard, allowing for an atmospheric transformation throughout the day, every day. 2. Natural Ventilation: By splitting the building into two volumes, it allows all of the units to have 3 open sides, maximizing the natural cross ventilation throughout. 3. Roof Garden: The roof garden is open to the sky, with a parapet wall at full-floor height, creating a private communal space for the residents. 4. Privacy: The brick screen walls, in their orderly staggered stacking construction, allows for privacy from the exterior gaze of the adjacent buildings into the semi-exterior, semi-public core of the building. This filter is applied, not only in the central core zone, but at specific moments where the building closely faces adjacent buildings. This adds to the privacy of each unit, while allowing for the residents of each unit the flexibility in ventilation, allowing each unit to breathe naturally.

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The design also takes into consideration the client’s point of view, with an attempt to satisfy cost efficiency and profitability through quality design: 1. Area: The skipped floor structure allows residents to enter their units directly from the stair landings, eliminating unnecessary, dead public hallway space, and maximizing the area for exclusive use. 2. Cost Efficiency: With a limited construction budget, but aiming to satisfy all of the essentials for living, the design of the building and the units focused on only the absolute necessities, without being superfluous with custom materials and built-in furniture, but with quality materials and fixtures that were economical. 3. Unique: In order to provide the client with something new and different from the monotonous characteristics of the area, their needs were met through a quality of design that allows the building to stand apart within the existing streetscape of multi-family housing, both formally and in function, resulting in a new type of residential experience and use.

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As designers, there was a need to find a new architectural solution for the unexpected and unplanned, such as the following: 1. Equipment: It is quite common for residential buildings to attach and expose air conditioning equipment on the exterior of the building. In order to keep to the intended design of all four elevations of the building, spaces were allotted for such equipment into the overall plan of the building, as well as an application of the brick screen system for ventilation and air circulation for HVAC. 2. Ad-Hoc Expansion: To avoid illegal additions and extensions to the original design of the building in the future, which is a common practice in Korea, especially to buildings lacking a specific logic, there was a great focus in efficient spatial planning and design to allow for longevity in the initial design intentions and the spatial organization of the building. 3. Harmonized Distinction: A unique design calls attention from its surrounding neighbors and residents in sparking an interest in a new design sensibility, and to form and awareness and appreciation for beautiful buildings and well designed spaces for living. Due to the changes of living patterns in the city, the number of single to double occupancy living units has grown. Rather than contribute to the increase of thoughtless and monotonous residential typology, the focus of Beyond the Screen was to provide new architectural design solutions to improve the quality of compact living through and enrichment of spatial qualities and functions.

Project: Beyond the Screen Building name: NBS71510 Design period: 2012.06 - 2012.08 Construction period: 2012.09 - 2013.02 Type: residential, commercial Location: Seoul, South Korea Site area: 215 square metres Site coverage area: 128.08 square metres Building-to-land ratio: 59.57% (max. 60%) Total floor area: 427.24 square metres Floor area ratio: 198.72% (max. 200%) Building scope: 5F Structure: RC Finish: brick, Dryvit

Beyond the Screen - Photographer kyungsub Shin


"Gone with the Fog" by UK-based architect Leo Sooseok Kim of MEDIUS Architects recently won first place in ArchTriumph's Venice Biennale Pavilion 2013 competition this past August.

"What is the first image of Venice? Many people only imagine the floating city itself. Someone thinks of archaic buildings and canals through the city. By the way, Venice has many historical stories that is going on till now. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe saw the sea for the first time in his life at Venice. Especially, he glorified the mystic atmosphere of Venice several times in his book 'Italian Journey'.

He mentioned the fog at Venice as the medium that completes Venice itself. Have you ever felt the mood at sunset and rainy day at St. Marco Square? If you are there, you can feel everything of Venice. There are many elements, which make the mood, such as fog, small boats, and poles that fixed boats. This project began with this motive. How to reflect such elements to the pavilion? It should be gone with the fog like the being of nothing."

Project details

Name: ArchTriumph Architecture Competition 2013 – General Stage
Project: Venice Biennale Pavilion
Site: San Marco Square in Venice, Italy
Title of Project: Gone with the Fog  
Site Use - Site Area (m²): Multipurpose
Building Area (m²): 1,440m²
Gross Floor Area (m²):  2,466m²
Building Coverage Ratio (%):  N/A (on the Sea)
Gross Floor Ratio (%): 169%
Building Scale: N/A
Stories above Ground: 7 stories
Stories below Ground: N/A (on the Sea)
Structure:   Aluminum and Stainless Steel Frame Structure
Maximum Height (m): 13m
Landscape Area: N/A (on the Sea)
Parking Lot: N/A (on the Sea)
Exterior Finish: Aluminum and Stainless Steel coated with waterproof painting

Photo: Nigel Young_Foster + Partners

Architect Joon Paik (Paik Joon-beom), who designed the tres cool Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first commercial space port.
Paik—whom left for the States when he was 15—has been active mostly in the UK, where he’s worked for Foster + Partners for 12 years.

The Foster + Partners and URS team has won an international competition to build the first private spaceport in the world - The New Mexico Spaceport Authority Building. The sinuous shape of the building in the landscape and its interior spaces seek to capture the drama and mystery of space flight itself, articulating the thrill of space travel for the first space tourists. Making a minimal impact on the environment, the scheme will be the first facility of its kind and a model for the future.

The Spaceport lies low within the desert-like landscape of the site in New Mexico and seen from the historic El Camino Real trail, the organic form of the terminal resembles a rise in the landscape. Using local materials and regional construction techniques, it is both sustainable and sensitive to its surroundings.

Organised into a highly efficient and rational plan, the Spaceport has been designed to relate to the dimensions of the spacecraft. There is also a careful balance between accessibility and privacy. The astronauts’ areas and visitor spaces are fully integrated with the rest of the building to convey the thrill of space travel. The more sensitive zones - such as the control room - are visible, but have limited access.

Visitors and astronauts enter the building via a deep channel cut into the landscape. The retaining walls form an exhibition space that documents the history of the region and its settlers, alongside a history of space exploration. The strong linear axis continues on a galleried level to the ‘superhangar’ - which houses the spacecraft and the simulation room – through to the terminal building.

Designed to have minimal embodied carbon and few additional energy requirements, the scheme has been designed to achieve the prestigious LEED Platinum accreditation. The low-lying form is dug into the landscape to exploit the thermal mass, which buffers the building from the extremes of the New Mexico climate as well as catching the westerly winds for ventilation. Natural light enters via skylights, with a glazed façade reserved for the terminal building, establishing a platform for the coveted views onto the runway.

Facts about Spaceport America

Site Area:

300,000 ft2
Gross Area: 93,453 ft2
Net Area Western zone: 4463 ft2 / 414 m2
Hangar: 55,000 ft2
Public viewing gallery: 5,079 ft2
Tenant: Virgin Galactic

Architectectural Lead Design:
Norman Foster
Grant Brooker
Antoinette Nassopoulos-Erickson
Joon Paik
Hiroyuki Sube
See Teck Yeo
Kristine Ngan

Architecture and Engineering: URS Corporation
Project Manager, Structural and MEP Engineer Architecture: SMPC Architects
Environmental Design/LEED: PHA Consult
Client: New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA)

Foster + Partners

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