Cornerstone 1-532
Kyung sub, Shin

Cornerstone 1-532

Leehong Kim Architects as Architects

Situated at a transitional node in the midst of scattered new developments with high-end residential area to the north, commercial area to the south, Cornerstone 1-532 projects the character of the site with a monolithic, continuous, and curved surface along the adjacent streets. The building quietly sits in as a neutral backdrop to the diverse textures of the surroundings.

Cornerstone 1-532 is a four-story mixed-use building with individual program per floor stacked vertically; commercial space on the first floor and artist studio/residence on the other floors.

Despite the small site area of 175 m² with 40% lot coverage ratio, the site bestowed with an advantage of a corner lot. The west and the south side of the site facing the street adopt a single curved facade to minimize the segmentation and to maximize the length of the facade surface. This creates a building mass larger than life, allowing a monolithic visual impact as a whole.

The first floor is framed by an extruded geometry of the pentagonal site's corner. This alien geometry on the curved facade represents the shape of the site, and the insertion of this frame to the full-height surface creates an interesting contrast. Different use of materials emphasizes the contrast between the two gestures. The curved surface is an aggregation of bricks, whereas exposed concrete creates the frame with curved glass fit in. This concrete frame also elongates towards the north boundary of the site functioning as canopy along the west side of the site.

The level difference between the Southeast and the Northwest points of the site by nearly one floor plays another key role to the character of the building. Raising the first floor by half level results in two separate entrances to the first and basement floors.

From apart, a single volume shows a monolithic gesture like a stone placed on asphalt pavement, which represents calmness to the unanticipated events around and harmonizes the variety. But as approaching, the building speaks up through the transparent glass frame. 

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Project Credits
Bar Agricole
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Bar Agricole

San Francisco, California, USA - Build completed in 2010
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