Interlocking Space

Qiupei Hu, M.Arch+3 ’22

ARCH 505B: Graduate Architecture Design I - Elements, Principles and Phenomena

Gallery: The Inside and the Outside

Instructor: Gary Paige

This project explores a spatial concept that derives from Robert Venturi’s seminal text, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture. He writes: the architectural element of “the wall – the point of change between interior and exterior – becomes an architectural event” (86). And, in another chapter he observes that formed space may contain “paradoxical contrasts” which can be perceived as “closed yet open” (23).

In order to implement this idea of “closed yet open” the project examines the idea of interlocking spaces. Formally, a series of volumes interlock in plan and section as well as between inside and outside. The movement between interior and exterior space is facilitated by a pathway that runs through the house. An example of a paradoxical contrast is where the landing of the interior stairs becomes an outdoor terrace, creating a view corridor from the outside into the subterranean interior space. Consequently, space can be perceived simultaneously as open and closed, inside or outside, depending on your point of view.