This work was a reconstruction to an inter-terrace dating back to 1959, that now had to be given a modern makeover. Several precedents immediately came to the forefront – the American row house and the Chinese shophouse. Both typologies are row houses but are anchored in historical and geographic specificity. Transplanting them into this site seemed convenient and decontextualized, but it represented a convergence of a number of ideas up till now.
The prototypical row house always had this problem – two long parti walls with short front and rear elevations resulting in poor ventilation and lighting on the lower floors. The main idea formal idea that carried through was the necessity of an internal courtyard – vertical and lateral ‘cut’ that formed a physical and spatial separation between the front and rear. Formally, the spatial section was intended to be read as an inverted ‘T’, with the cut combined with the open design of the first floor. The intention was a wind tunnel that would vent up the inverted ‘T’ to address the practical points of ventilation and heat. The inverted ‘T’ also forms an two additional internal elevations that would allow for a visual prism to connect all spaces of the house through direct and reflected views. The inverted ‘T’ is the spatial catalyst as one moves vertically through the house, modulating the experience of the spaces as one moves through it.