In much of their work, Unchung Na, 36, and Sorae Yoo, 32, the husband and wife who founded NAMELESS Architecture in 2010, challenge themselves to express contradictions in architecture: take heavy stones and stack them so they appear almost weightless; design a building that seems both closed and open, at once strong and weak. Their projects initiate dialogues between opposites that question the nature of materials and the way we engage with the built environment. At their Triangle School, nearing completion in Namyangju, South Korea, for example, they respond to the different contexts around the building with a trio of elevations that range from mostly opaque to nearly transparent. And by carving out a rotated triangular courtyard from its center, they undermine the school's initial appearance as a solid form.
In other hands, such projects might come across as pedantic, but Na and Yoo have a light and witty touch. Their project called Circle, Triangle, Square at first looks like a bunch of simple geometric objects scattered across a lawn outside the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Gwacheon, South Korea. As you get closer, though, you realize everything is made of hay, and the installation is essentially a playground ripe for climbing on and jumping off. "We try to imagine how people will interact with our work, how it will affect their actions," says Na.