Some say a house is merely a shelter, while others see it as a place where family members can get together. To Koray Duman, principal at international architectural firm Büro Koray Duman, a house serves both purposes.

“A family consists of individuals [who] come together to form a whole,” Duman says. Taking inspiration from the concept of yin and yang – which is formed by “two symmetrical forms that come together to create a whole [togetherness] but also with an inner space at the centre” – Duman tries to reinterpret the shape into a house design that satisfies the needs of both a family and individual members.

“The design embodies duality through form and material representation,” Duman explains. Two curved walls wrap around each other to create two interlocking rings. The first ring starts as a garage and an entrance area and is lifted up to create space for the master bedroom on the second floor. The other ring starts as a swimming pool and ends in the kids’ rooms. The result is a house that promotes family warmth and togetherness.

The philosophy behind the design is to create a common area for social activities and at the same time keep the private spaces for individual use.

Private spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms and studies are located on the perimeter on the second level. They are organised around an open living area at the centre on the ground floor where there’s a kitchen, a dining room, a game area, a library and a sunken seating area.

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“The bedrooms have easy visual access to the central area, but they are not visible from the common room as they are on the second floor,” Duman explains. He says that the communal space with different facilities will encourage family members to spend time together even if they are engaging in different activities. It will facilitate communication while at the same time provide privacy for individuals when needed.

A cosy and healthy environment also helps maximise quality family time. Duman hands over the mission to technology. Smart technology is incorporated in the glass ceiling on top of the circular area in the middle of the house.

The glass responds to environmental changes. When sunlight hits during daytime, it becomes opaque to shade the interior. At night, the light-sensitive glass ceiling turns transparent. House activities can take place under the sky and shining stars. Ventilation is another important factor in the indoor environment. The living room accommodates an open plan. The sunken seating area located next to it opens up to the outdoor landscape through a big curved glass panel. Both the glass ceiling and the curved glass panel can be opened.

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“With the ability to use advances in technology and architectural engineering, this cantilevering house promotes healthy family living and bonding”, Duman says.

Koray Dumanok is the principal at international architectural practice Büro Koray Duman, which is based in New York City. Duman, who is from Turkey, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in architecture at the Middle Eastern Technical University, and his Master’s degree at the University of California Los Angeles’ Graduate School of Architecture and Urban Design. With his international background and diversified experience, Duman set up his own firm and aims to bring together analytical and playful approaches to a broad range of projects. Under his leadership, the promising firm was honoured with Emerging Firm of the Year by Architizer 2017 A+ Awards.

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