It may have been an accident that NL Architects' latest project resembles the shape of the alien space ships from the classic video game Space Invaders, but we're gonna chalk it up to good design. NL Architects worked collaboratively with a number of other firms to design a housing project for Gapyong, outside of Seoul, South Korea, and the Dutch firm's houses are a series of terraced apartments. Hoping to provide density, but also yard space for every home, one apartment is stacked on top of another with green roofed decks, resulting in a profile eerily similar to that of the pixelated space invader.
NL Architects was asked by Yo2 to join forces and work on a proposal for a residential development in the city of Gapyong, which is outside of Seoul. While Yo2 worked on the masterplan, NL Architects along with MSA (Marina Stankovic), CAT (Kazuhiro Kojima), Unsangdong (Joon Gyo Jan), and FOA (Alejandro Zaera-Polo) worked on an array of housing types for a hill slope overlooking a valley on the North Han River. The goal of the project was to create an environment that can serve as an alternative for the typical housing block – something that still retained density, but also provided a more suburban lifestyle.
The solution NL Architects came up with was to stack one apartment on top of another in ziggurat fashion to create terraces. One apartment takes up the whole bottom floor, with the second apartment taking the second and third floors. The bottom apartment serves as the base for the top apartment’s green roof terraces providing both apartments with views, yards and their own private spaces. From the side, because of the massing, window placement, and terraces, the duplex looks exactly like a space invader. As NL’s Kamiel Klaasse tells Co.Design, “It is the result of our programmatic analysis, a logical outcome of the requirements and restrictions.” Sure, sure, it was all a lucky coincidence, but don’t worry, we like it.