Humanistic architecture seems to be secondary in the contemporary age, when aesthetics are once again more valued over ways of living. However, in the midst of form-focused designs, there are still projects that minimise themselves to cater to life qualities through traditional typologies, such as Song House by AZL Architects.
Situated in Namsong, China, Song House is a residential project that uses ramps to determine its form and facade. With a family of elderly and members who sometimes need the use of wheelchairs, the three-storey house prioritises its accessibility and living conditions over decorative elements in the surrounding contexts. Protruding out of the rural village is a minimalist cube that has porous openings to accommodate light and air, feeding into the central sky well, which mimics the courtyard typology that’s often seen in traditional farmhouses.
The interior takes on a monotonous palette of warm grey, beige, and sand colours presented through natural materials like wood, bamboo, sedge, and plain concrete. By carefully choosing the furniture, the designers were able to create a sense of familiarity and tradition within the monolithic volume of modernist structure. This decision also heightens living standards, yet still maintains humane aspects that’s not often present anymore.
AZL Architects gracefully implements practical solutions to practical issues and turns them into playful aesthetic decisions. Keeping the core values is important, but being able to extract them and putting them through the scope of the present time is more crucial and valuable.