SEOUL – OBBA recently completed Beyond the Screen, a mixed-use building in Seoul, Korea.

The form of the building is derived from site regulations, including setback lines and natural light requirements. The building’s brick further grounds it in its residential context, both in terms of materiality and scale. Additionally, brick is a thermally massive material which generally helps to regulate indoor temperature, keeping it within comfortable ranges both in summer and winter.

Air conditioning systems and other HVAC functions are catered for in the design of the building so residents do not resort to hanging units on the façade. This maintains the visual purity of the building.

A staircase divides what looks from the outside like the single volume of the building into two. This move ensures all units in Beyond the Screen can be accessed from one circulation space and that the apartments have openings on three sides.

Staircase landings are directly outside doors, so there is no need for corridors, or, as the designers call them, ‘dead public hallway space’. The staircase is flanked on either side by two brick screens. The screens function similarly to mashrabiya, providing interior spaces with natural ventilation and privacy while maintaining visual and acoustic connections to the street. The permeability of the screen makes the building appear less massive, further assimilating it into its context.

Photos courtesy of Kyungsub Shin