Arc 551 - Function of Threshold: Building Entry Behaviorology


(Connected City, 2018 ARC591 student works, housing on top of traditional street market)

The building facade is defined by the front of a building, implying the relationship between a street and a building. This face of a building, which constitutes a street facade, is fundamentally ambivalent and transitional space which operates as a threshold between inside and outside. 

It produces perception of either invitation or authority, linkage or barrier. Unlike rich array of threshold spaces manifested by Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe (such as Villa Savoye and Farnsworth House), many modern developments from twentieth century to the present based on economic considerations present mere thin layer only to divide inside and outside. The thin layer represent the dramatic commercialization of the architectural practice. Therefore, the objective of this seminar is to re-discover the function of threshold by investigating the thickness of facade where people perform much more than just entering and exiting. We will do focused case studies, rigorous site research on a public housing developments in Buffalo street and finally propose a novel renovation strategy based on the entry behaviors in the housing complex.


Jin Young Song's research and practice in the U.S. and Korea investigate parametric design of dynamic facade systems and the socio-cultural importance of the building facade.

ELIGIBILITY: Urban design grg students. open to all students interested in the topic (email to the instructor)