Text description provided by the architects. Site
Corner House is located in Bangbae-dong of Seoul, South Korea, in a residential area whose old, single family residences are quickly being replaced by five-storey multi-family housing types. The site is pentagonal, adjacent to 6m and 4m roads to its south and east, and there is also a 1m level difference within the site.
The programmatic requirements were as follows: an exhibition space on the ground floor (for the owner’s company merchandise), an office space on the second floor, two residential units for relatives and another unit for lease on the third floor, and the owner’s residence on the fourth and fifth floors. The spaces also had to be flexible, to adjust to any possible changes in the future.
The main living areas had been positioned to the south and east sides of the building – where the conditions are more favorable – all with minimal-sized balconies to the outside.
The site’s 1m level difference had been resolved through the use of skipped floors, arranged so that the levels may be connected in the future if needed.
The elevator, bathrooms, and the main stairs had been organized close to one another, to form a central core to the north of the site.
For the main stairs to reach the fourth floor, the stairs’ axis change as it goes up so that it stays within the required diagonal plane (for the neighboring sites’ daylighting requirements).
The fourth and fifth floors, which become long and narrow as they go up, had been designed carefully with various ceiling heights and skylights so the spaces are less claustrophobic.
As inclined street setback plane regulations became obsolete recently, we took advantage of the change by securing as much floor-to-floor heights as possible, as well as an attic for more additional space.
House of Stairs
There are two staircases in the Corner House: the main stairs from the ground floor to the fourth floor, and the internal, private stairs from the fourth floor unit to the rooftop.
Unlike how rigid the building may appear from the outside, the main stairs inside become a playful element, changing as its axis shifts while going up. Rotating around a tall, central void which allows natural light to penetrate to below, the stairs become a part of the residents’ daily experience.
Both of the stairs are positioned centrally respective to their spaces with skylights above them, allowing daylight to follow down the steps and into the living areas.