Oblique Figures Apartment, Boston / J.Roc Design

living area
Oblique Figures Apartment

Project Name: Oblique Figures Apartment
Architecture: J.Roc Design
Design : Jeremy Jih
Engineering: Andy Harris Structural Engineering
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Area: 1800 ft²
Year: 2020
Photographs: James Leng

Oblique Figures inherits an empty cubic space and inserts a stair as a fulcrum, pivoting new spatial and perceptual relationships around a central, curving figure. Connecting three scales and orientations of space, the stair differentiates and domesticates its context by transforming in perspective — appearing as a domestically scaled slim figure of single radius from the kitchen, a publically scaled grand stair from the entrance axis, and a perspectivally exaggerated receding figure from the dining.


The existing space is fenestrated only on one side, problematizing access to both light and privacy, and establishing a harsh dichotomy between bright public spaces and windowless private spaces. By reorienting the cube around a central rotation, notions of front and rear are made ambiguous, allowing for a constantly curving gaze to supersede the rectilinearity of its context while bridging between publically scaled double-height living spaces, privately scaled single height sleeping quarters, and a roof garden.

Oblique Figures Apartment / J.Roc Design

To address lighting needs while providing privacy, the master suite is pivoted off the stair at an angle and enclosed in electrochromic glass, transforming from clear to opaque at will. This angle produces a gradient of scaled spaces, allowing each direct access to light while respecting allowable interior square footage.

A keystone in both concept and sequence, the stair was fabricated offsite in two pieces and corkscrewed in through a skylight.

Oblique Figures Apartment / J.Roc Design

Oblique Figures Apartment / J.Roc Design

spiral staircase

upper level, Oblique Figures Apartment


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