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Design: Choi Architects Architect: Charles C.S. Choi​​ Location: Gangnam-gu, Seoul Site Area: 249.01㎡ Building Area: 431.60㎡ Total Floor Area: 1,416.74㎡ Structure: R.C Project Year: 2015 Photographer: ​Sun Namgoong

Choi Architects

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As the demand of rural housing grows, more and more people are developing and moving to spectacular mountainous areas. The site on which the rock house was located is also one of the rural housing sites developed in this way. Particularly, the greatest advantage of developing a mountainous area into a building site is ensuring the open view based on the high level as well as the right to the southern light with no interference.

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In addition, the rock house has a unique site specific: the naturally stony land, excavation of which thus has revealed a great rock on the site. The unrealistic rock we encountered when visiting the site has been located at the mouth of entering the house, so exquisitely hiding the neighboring house and opening the view toward the Northern Han River. From this time on, we have referred to this house as the rock house.

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The client of the rock house is two sisters whose hobbies are travel and woodwork. It is said they agreed to make a house built by hoping that the mind of leaving the busy everyday of the city for coming back home would be pleasurable as if they were traveling. Just like this hope, a home for them is not only a physical shelter but also the playground exclusive to them and the travel destination of a long-awaited dream.

We attempted meetings to address such a desire by exploring the site specifics. Particularly, we left intact the great rock existing on the ground but from which we began to design a small journey. Putting the house at the center of the site and creating a circulation inside the house enabled sequence from the rock through the forest at the backyard to the living room where one can see the Northern Han River. In this experience, one comes to encounter three yards with different characters and can enjoy so long and variegated landscapes.

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1.The yard embracing the rock (in between the carpentry shop and the main floored room)

2.The yard embracing the Northern Han River (the front yard as a linkage of the living room and the dining room)

3.The yard embracing the forest (the private yard for tending a kitchen garden or barbecuing)

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Since general rural housing is built at a natural green site, its maximum building area has only a small portion (legally 20%) of the whole site area. Due to this legal regulation, most rural houses came to have an abnormally greater yard than the building scale while the use and purpose of the yard are unclear. Thus, we reorganized the program of the yard through the relationship between the rock and the house: the living room, dining room, workshop, and front door lead to different yards respectively, so that the whole site can be evenly serviced by functions and uses.

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Architects : B.U.S Architecture Location : , South Korea Design Team : Byungyup Lee, Hyemi Park, Jihyun Park, Seonghak Cho Area : 153.0 sqm Project Year : 2015 Photographs : kyung Roh Structure : wooden structure Furniture Manufactured : B_structure

B.U.S Architecture

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YeonHui-Dong is a village where has been a living area for conservative upper-middle class from the late sixties. It settled on a slow slope from northwestern long and low hillside. The front garden of each houses are leveled up one floor higher than the front street. A block is composed with six or eight lots each of them are about 330m2.

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In Korea, people dream about having a large garden at the front of the house. YeonHui-Dong’s overall village layout is the clearest evidence of this desire. In consequence, most of the houses have neighboring houses on three sides with 2 meters wide outdoor corridors with a low wall in the middle. This typical arrangement has determined the homogeneous shape of the village.

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My client had four children of 1,3,5,7 years old when came to me to ask the commission and now the children became 3,5,7,9 years old. He is a successful business man over 40. He wanted to give a room to each child and his own private room safe from children to stay quite sometimes because after the completion of house he was supposed to spend more time to work from home.

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On my first visit to the site, I strongly felt the decades old stubborn positioning problem. So I decided to give a cross shape plan having four different yards of different roles each. Then unexpected distant views appeared and nearing old gardens were opened. Narrow and useless outdoor corridor in between buildings disappeared.

Positioning the kitchen between two lager yards permitted easy supervising of children playing in both yards expanding visual spaciousness of kitchen. On the long and thin yard I put the stair to approach to the entrance. To the last cozy yard I shared a hidden room for the client. Opened to four diagonal ends, the layout brought me a new problem. How to deal with the periphery.

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On three sides facing neighboring houses, there were low walls of slightly different heights around 1.2m. 1.8m’s height was good to cover the walls and to keep the privacy. As material I chose metal wire mesh of 4 cm grid. Easily rusting nature of metal wire-mesh and its transparency seemed good if Mr. Kim would agree to the rust metal for his fence .

He agreed. People were stupefied of how Mr. Kim accepted with such an easiness. On the building sides of facing fences, instead, I used 4cm wide thin metal plate with 4cm distance. This row of metal plates must show and hide the concrete structure of house. The height must match to that of fence. For the underground level facing the street, I showed the concrete structure of the building.

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Having neighbors so close, to guarantee a privacy of bedrooms the volume of the second floor must have been closed. Pitched roof gives spaciousness to the closed volume reminding other roofs of village and of distant hill. Two top lights are soaring up to the sky keeping inclinations of the roof. They are not so visible from outside but are dramatic from inside. Seen from above, they adds a subtle skyline to the village.

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I wanted use material which has paradoxical quality of differentiating and harmonizing for the second floor. The copper material which is different from other two metal materials used in ground floor, it’s clear cut finishing with light reflecting surface will fade very slowly in time matching to the red bricks of adjacent houses.

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Lastly the roof is enveloped with black asphalt sheet. This is to high light the hidden concrete structure visible on the street level but hides the structure on the first floor. I used three different kinds of metals in this house hoping that each one with precise role. Three different time of ripe , thus three different way of answering to the context being honest to its nature.

Written by Jean Son

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Architects : ISON Architects Location : Seoul, South Korea Design Team : Jean Son, Lee byung chul Construction : C&O ENC Area : 331.0 sqm Project Year : 2014 Photographs : JongHo Kim

ISON ARCHITECTS last 18 years since 1997, founded by I Min and Son Jin, studied and worked in Italy. ISON focused on the meaning and potentialities of urban context that small building remains, through series of kindergarten projects in early days. Outcomes were recognized and the studio won the Kim Swoo Geun Prize in 2008.

ISON Architects







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