Unit 2

Get a Room! 

: A Column That Does Not 

Touch the Ceiling

Jaehyub Ko + Hee Joon Lee

Architectural Errors
Archizoom, Residential Parking Lot, 1971
Toyo Ito, House in Kamiwada, 1976

1. Rituals and Architectural Elements

Rituals can encompass a wide range of activities, ranging from religious events to seemingly trivial social practices. Despite their varying significance, rituals are an integral part of our daily lives.

The relationship between ritual and architecture is interconnected, with each influencing and shaping the other. Spatial composition, form, hierarchy, and material all play a role in creating the conditions for a ritual to occur. Architecture can be seen as a component of ritual, just as ritual can be seen as a component of architecture. It is more of a correlation than a matter of which one comes first.

Is it possible to influence the occurrence and experience of ritual by manipulating architectural elements? If so, this suggests that architectural design can extend beyond functional and aesthetic considerations and into the realm of the unconscious. This hypothesis will be explored further by Unit 2, where the relationship between architectural elements and ritual will be investigated, with the assumption that this relationship is valid and the confirmation of its validity as the goal.

2. Evolution: A Column That Does Not Touch The Ceiling 

Some of the columns touching the ceiling work as a structure. In such cases, the column is 'needed' and must exist. However, some columns do not reach the ceiling and do not function as structural elements. These columns can be considered examples of the evolution of architectural elements. As they exist purely as spatial elements, they acquire a new meaning beyond their functional, aesthetic, and structural roles.

Unlike traditional architectural elements designed based on rationality and economy, these new architectural elements not only embrace misuse and abuse, but also actively induce them. They are found in spaces that are considered to be inconsistent with existing principles or common sense, and often arise from the architect's mistake or the excess of the ego. However, these architectural errors also present the possibility of creating a new space and the potential for architectural evolution.

A change in just a few architectural elements can drastically alter the form and order of a space, impacting the rituals that take place within it. Through these changes and architectural errors, we can propose new types of architectural elements that serve as devices for containing and generating rituals. These elements go beyond function and aesthetics, and suggest a new type of lifestyle and a house.

3. House: Architecture as Literature

A house is the most fundamental type of architecture. Despite variations in shape, composition, and size, it is the type that most people can sympathize with. Due to the range of activities that take place within its relatively small confines, a house is an ideal setting for exploring the relationship between ritual and architecture. A house is filled with a series of sequential rituals, both important and mundane, which when taken together, form a narrative. The space created by architectural elements serves as the backdrop to this narrative.

With this in mind, it raises the question of whether it is possible to come up with architecture in a manner similar to the creation of literature. Could we consider the continuity of spaces as a continuation of ritual, linking sequences in time to create a narrative? If so, could we understand this architecture in the same way as reading a novel?

Shimin Jiang, Social Housing with Health Care, 2022 AAVS Seoul 2022 Unit 2


Jaehyub Ko 

Hongik University

Hee Joon Lee 

Hanyang University