minus k house

Multi-family housing poses unique challenges, as do the budgeting constraints of owning and running a factory in China with living quarters for workers. With a rather elegant and earthy simplicity, this project tackles these problems with aplomb.

multi-family house in china

KUU architects (with images by Jeremy San of StzernStudio) made this multi-functional residence out of modular three-by-three-meter, brick-walled spaces, split between worker spaces and weekend quarters for the owners.

white brick house exterior

The white-brick theme is carried throughout at a comfortably human scale, with dark wood and red clay accents adding material contrast.

White brick house interior

No single point stands out as the pinnacle piece, which is part of the purpose or the decentralized plan: to have egalitarian, functional and cozy areas for living and interacting. For something made so simply, it is remarkably well-detailed and resolved.

From Architectural Record:

“The client for this project owns a slipper factory, exporting slippers to America, Europe, and Japan. The program called for two small houses—a weekend house for the client and a house for his employee, who lives onsite full time and manages the factory and its warehouse, which will be moved to this location.”

minus k house living room

“The architect designed two houses that are carefully separated yet include closely interconnecting spaces. Structural brick walls remain unplastered, appearing from the outside as a cluster of rooms with different heights. Inside, the kitchen and courtyards of each family’s house surround four corners of a large central table shared by both houses. Each family cooks facing the other, and eats together if desired.”

“Both houses contain a collection of 10-by-10-feet rooms with openings that connect both to each another and to the other house in a variety of ways. Other similarities between the houses include angled views that cut diagonally through the center of each house, as well as several window openings that look out onto comparable views.”