Kun Luo

MArch I

Atypical Apartment

Advised by Sean Canty

The purpose of this thesis is to reproduce the prevailing Miesian space of apartment buildings by introducing Adolf Loos’s Raumplan typology, exploring the possibilities to incorporate a dynamic spatial composition and sequence into efficiency-driven space.

Apartments, although varying vastly in forms, facades, and units, share a common space arrangement method: a single corridor that connects several units and a vertical stack of similar floor plates. It not only creates an unignorable gap between the urban context and the living unit, but also fails to provide an inspiring and enjoyable living experience. In the mid-20th century, several mid-rise apartments designed by Mies formed this prevailing apartment typology. During the same period, Adolf Loos’s Raumplan explored various possibilities in spatial connectivity and continuity, yet it has been never incorporated into the apartment space. The design experiments with the possibility of bringing the Raumplan typology into a typical Mies typology, thus providing not only circulatory and cost efficiency, but also the sensation and perception of spatial connectivity.

With the unique spatial experience provided by the new typology, a new model of intergenerational student housing can be invented and supported. Student housing is the most complex residential type, which requires a mix of different programs and spaces. Since continued professional activity can greatly improve the life satisfaction of aging faculties, by incorporating retired faculties into this model, students could benefit from after-school programs or consulting while the aging faculties could be involved in the life of work, teaching, research, and professional activity.

Kun Luo, MArch I, A photograph of nine architectural models