This post is about my personal experience and opinion about Architecture, how I want my space to be designed, allocated and be used.
Reasons why I love these types of space:
Humans are social beings
Common Room Area
This is very critical. Human being are very sociable creatures; they cannot survive by living alone, instead need someone else in order to experience the exchange of communication and sharing of emotion. Hence within the Architecture, it is very important to add a space where exchange of communication takes place and people can gather and meet up and talk to each other.
In Korea, majority of the people meet up and gather around in a cafeteria in order to hang out and socialise with other people. So I thought it will be very interesting and desirable to include a space which resembles an atmosphere of a cafeteria inside an apartment so people can gather around and hang out and chill. At this point, it is critical to design a space which forces the people to enter this area no matter what. In other words, this cafeteria space must be a space where it must be walked through in order to exit the building or entering your room.
There are few examples which I believe provide good ideas for a cafeteria. Furniture is definitely the most definite aspect of the interior which determines the atmosphere (even the purpose) of the interior. Since my aim is to focus and create an environment which resembles a cafeteria, I realised there are two main furnitures which plays a critical role: the centre table which acts like an dinner table (and at the same time as working - laptop, coffee, read book - area) and the table space along the window side.
People love (pretending) to study in a cafeteria due to large number of reasons: for their self-esteem, to create an excuse that they have done some work, or it feels extremely good (or cool) just to study in cafés. With exception of few people, large number of people will find it difficult to study in a quite space and concentrate for a long duration of a time. Hence by giving people the space people wants to study, right in front of their doorstep will create an optimistic result in people’s production, and especially their mental health (at least to my mental health).
Key Interiors: Library, Cafeteria
BBC Scotland at Pacific Quay, Glasgow is one of the great examples that illustrates my idea of having an area of communication right in the centre (or in a place where it is publicly inevitable) so that people can gather and hang out without much of an effort. These areas look very desirable to enter and dwell, and that's one of the most important trait in interior as well.
CASE STUDY: 신촌 할리스 커피 (HOLLY'S COFFEE, SHINCHON)
Below is a HOLLY's COFFEE café in Seoul, Sinchon. This place provided me the main source of inspiration for my Architecture idea and allowed me to visualise the internal rendering of my ideal interior.
Starting from the 4th picture, after coming down from the stairways is the place where people gather around and chill (like a common room in a dorm (The common room must need a centre table and the table alongside the windows where people can both share or work in private space). This case study have provided me a good reflection on how the interior should look like if it were to be built.
Interior without Walls
The second thing that I love in Architecture is an interior with floating walls. The title may be very provoking, but unfortunately enough I have a strong desire where my architecture should not have any walls inside the building, or have an interior that is very flexible and able to shift its allocation of space differently according the user in the space with ease. I found the ability to change distribution of space is very attractive and necessary.
This have always provoked the issue of privacy, and many of my acquaintances have expressed their opinion rejecting this statement. However I believe this is very attractive form of interior design and I believe there will be people who supports this design statement.
Interior without Wall does not mean there is no privacy. There will be definite distinction between each boundary of spaces and people will have privacy in between the spaces. However the thing that I am focusing on is the distribution of space and different allocation of public space between the people who share in the building.
CASE STUDY: 전주 야채 시장 (JEON-JU VEGETABLE MARKET)
There was one example which I thought had very attractive interior construction design and that was 전주 야채 시장. I was fortunate enough to stumble on a vegetable market (the market was huge) as there was one huge building that seemed to be abandoned and inside the building - but inside were large number of different vegetable shops. Each shops were aligned next to each other and the display area of the vegetable product were visually seen (and also allocated next to each other). But there was one thing that was critical to this scene and that was the scenery of an owner of one vegetable shop was watching a TV in a display area as if it was his living room (See 3rd Image).
I found this somehow very attractive use of space - the fact that someone else can see you what you are doing and share with someone else seemed to be very interesting feeling to have as an owner of that space.
I think the reason why I feel this space is attractive is because if you are able to share certain parts of your own private space (Not entirely though), and this arouses an emotion of connectivity between your neighbours - the interior design forces you to compare your own space with others and see how their space look like and feel this unusual sensation of able to see space of other people's life.
As an extrovert of myself, I love the share my space, and my story with other people; Mentally, I feel more connected and secured when my space is shared with other people and I think this will play a critical role in shaping the human interaction and creation of relationship with other people.
Application of 1.5th floor(복층)
The unique distribution of floors seems to create an interesting allocation of space as well. When I was in Chicago, the use of loft space was an interesting option, but I believe we could play with the space more creatively.
While distinguishing each floor with clear distinction of floors could be a good idea, if the building was one huge space, it could be more desirable to create a space which plays with the floors.
On the left is an interior scene in House NA by Sou Fujimoto Architects. This interior clearly elaborate the potential and the beauty of the unique flooring effect inside the building.
Due to different allocation of floors, we are able to see internal view of the parts / sections of the floor. This visual availability does not strictly segregate a space with the other, allow people to feel connection between one space with the other. The building itself feels like one big room where small bits of interiors are related with each other and interconnected.
The variety of flooring of this interior also seems provide a playful aspect to the children. Space which acts like a 'playground' where a child can play also provide a sense of adventure to the adult users of the building. Seriously, the building looks like a jungle. Who never had a desire to climbing up a tree when they are young?
Having the transparency also relates closely to the architecture example that I mentioned previously above. Though it could be just my personal preference, I really do like the idea where all the rooms and spaces are connected together and able to access them in a playful manner.
Space inside a Space
Room inside a Room, office inside an office, dorm inside a dorm and building inside a building. This sense of creating a small environment inside a constricted environment (building) seems to be very interesting approach to interior design. There are already large number of Architectures which integrated this design system and majority of this interior style are seen in offices (and schools sometimes).
Left is 9GAG Office by LAAB Architects. The offices of 9GAG Studio clearly have good example of having a room in a room.
We can see that majority of the walls for the small space are constructed with transparent material hence the view inside can be view and seen. This example illustrates a similar traits with the interior explanation that I did with Jeon-Ju case study, where the sharing of one's space creates a very intimate relationship between each people and space.
This interior style is very closely related to the interior idea 'Interior without Walls' as they both share many common element of interior design:
- Share of space and life;
- Allow communication between people;
- Part/ Section of one's private space is shared;
Small Space (small OP)
People are overly excessive in terms of space they occupy and use - the beauty of efficient usage of space is lost and majority thinks bigger space give enhances and improve emotional experience of use of space.
However, I think that is incorrect since small space provides more control in the space which is given to a person.
The beauty is the efficient use of space where no piece of space is being wasted.
Many of the traits that I illustrated above all comes down to the conclusion: buildings for human. And if I were to summarise this whole post into one single vocabulary, it will be: sharing. Human must interact, communicate and share their message, emotion etc with other people in order to live. I believe the design of the architecture really need to support and reinforce the this purpose, allowing the people to engage and create a relationship to create a better social environment.