in the manner of fala

kwong von glinow

a+u #637, 2023

apartment, house, and housing

It is not by coincidence that a certain impression of fala makes itself present throughout all scales of their work. This is essential to establish the manner of fala, but as important is the practice’s consistent quality of living spaces that range from an apartment unit, to a house, to a housing complex. This approach transgresses scales, surfaces, and spaces. We see this as fala.

horizontal value-set across scales

From an apartment unit to a house - a house could look like an apartment and an apartment renovation could be experienced as a house. This visual and spatial sameness is a radical position for these various residential types that vary in scale where attention to details and composition do not fluctuate between scales and budgets. 

there are six sides to every dice

Floor, walls, and ceiling are the elements that make a space. For fala, each of these surfaces is equally considered, but, like a dice, one side always lands on top. The question for fala is no longer about what a room is supposed to be, but it becomes a question of how to curate each surface to create the room. In this case, just like a dice, sometimes the wall will win, or in another project, the ceiling will be the focus, etc. Each of these intentional uses of surface supports the space and composition of their work.

the long move

Not least, these surfaces are brought together by what we see as “the long move”: a sweeping space defined broadly that acts as a journey or a scene to tie the space together. Whether a site condition or a programmatic arrangement, the living space is often shaped uniquely so that the space might be a little bit longer than usual, or taller, or growing from narrow to wide. The benefit of the long move is that it makes the space more malleable and able to take on more - to be a space to live, a space for circulation, and a space to gather, all-in-one.   

The evenness of care across scale, surfaces, and spaces is jolted by the manner in which fala highlights certain elements. A circular window perfectly touching the underside of a concrete beam, the thinness of columns supporting an equally thin roof, or two small punch windows stacked in a single apartment unit to give the look of a building with twice as many floorplates - to name a few of our favorites - these destabilize and rupture expectations when you think you have found fala's hook. This evenness does not make for an even space.