Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
House 2, Yeoju House in Gyeonggi-do, Republic of Korea by Jin Seok Yang(Y GROUP)
April 11th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Jin Seok Yang(Y GROUP)
The 2nd house; A well screened and well opened house?; Yeoju House.
It’s a ‘separated yet bonded’ house where three generations live together. It’s a home for a grandmother in her 70s, a father in his late 30s and his daughter in the 1st year of middle school. The old house didn’t have a proper room for the father, so he had to live in a company dormitory. But now the father has returned home and is living in a new house with his family. Allowing the three generations to live under the same roof, this new house is a happy home for them.
Built by the grandfather, the old house was torn down and disappeared, thus the family had no option but to remodel a warehouse and live there. Regarding such a situation, what proposed first as an architectural idea was a safe and functional house faithful to the basics. The project begun with an idea to provide a new space rather than construct a building. For the bond and happiness of the family, specific spatial solutions are proposed to meet the needs of the daughter in puberty, the father in want of sense of belonging and the grandmother who was born and has grown old in the site area and has a strong homing instinct.
Yeoju House has a courtyard opened toward the sky, a 11-shaped building and passages. Given spaces are screened, opened and controlled, and such an arrangement plan results in this house with the courtyard looking up at the sky.
Though the façade looks rather blunt, the interior shows various faces. The courtyard selectively brings in sceneries outside. Facing a vegetable garden, the grandmother’s and father’s rooms and the courtyard expresses a sense of openness.
Yoeju House was particularly hard to design. Bouncing back and forth throughout a 3-phase design process gave a bumpy ride until reaching a finalized design. The design evolved in the order of ‘2- story building – single story building – single story building + passages’.
As the project is a new construction, spaces are arranged to reach outside in various ways.
And the advantages of a new construction are fully utilized.
Sitting on a large piece of land in a rural area, a single-story house can look rather monotonous, thus an arrangement plan making various spaces interact with each other is employed to relive such monotony.
Why is this house described as a separated yet bonded house? The grandmother’s, father’s and daughter’s rooms are designed separately, and the father’s and daughter’s rooms are arranged like an annex connected with a passage.
This passage is implemented to link private and common spaces.
The passage space works beyond its function and dimension as a corridor and gives a psychological sense of isolation and stability.
Outdoor sceneries framed by a kitchen window
The reason why a framed view is inserted is to see beautiful views over roads from the house, with an aim to compensate for pitiful experiences given by the old house which didn’t allow to open its doors at all. To block noise from adjacent roads and secure privacy, the number of openings is minimized. Small windows more effectively help to pay attention to outside and see it more clearly and leave a long lingering memory of the scenery.
Ideas about arrangement
The overall building arrangement has come from the -shape of Korean traditional architecture.
When seen from the roadside, the house only shows its façade with walls, but it opens itself toward inside.
It’s set back from the roadside so that it can make one flow with the arrangement of neighboring housings.
It’s set back from an access road at the corner as well, thus when seen from the roadside, it shows a closed form. However, when seen from its inside, it unfolds an open space having natural lighting and ventilation.
The 11-shaped house building has a connecting bridge; thus it looks like two masses exchanging greetings.
Opened toward the vegetable garden, the house building and its visual composition gives a sense of openness.
Seamlessly branching out from the 11-shaped building, outdoor spaces add richness to the house space.
Two courtyards(pocket gardens) have slightly different functions.
They give an extra space to the house and channel in various forms of daylighting.
To provide a psychologically stable environment for the sensitive adolescent daughter, her room is placed at the inner most area.
A space for the father and daughter
Arranged to face each other, the living room, kitchen and father’s room encourage communication between the father and other family members. A mini kitchen is added as an eating place for the father who comes home late and as a cooking workshop for the daughter.
Securing the house’s safety
An enough distance from the site boundary line and adjacent roads is secured to enhance safety around the roadside area.
A safe distance exceeding the legally specified clearance is implemented.
The house is designed as a single story building not to block the view of buildings behind.
Having slightly different heights, its exterior draws a subtly changing skyline.
Sitting at a lower level, the site was like a basin, so its ground is raised to the level of adjacent roads. An earthwork to harden the ground and raise it by 50cm is undertaken to prevent flooding for good.
The vegetable garden which the grandmother tends with her own hands is reconstructed. And to make the grandmother feel psychological stability, a view over the garden is opened, and, on the other side of the garden, her son’s room is positioned.
A warehouse is installed on the border of the roadside to store farming tools. A spacious warehouse-type hobby room is constructed as well. Positioned to face outside, it accommodates various spare-time activities.
At the same time, it serves as a place for the father and daughter to spend time together.
A maintenance-free siding tile is applied as a cladding.
Metal roof cladding lines and outer walls are carefully arranged to make a good formative composition
The living room, kitchen and grandmother’s room are designed as an integrated space to establish the most convenient circulation plan for the grandmother.
Hinoki wood beams are exposed to highlight a nature-friendly atmosphere. An open space integrated with the living room and kitchen is positioned near the entrance.
On the other hand, for rooms which have a view over the courtyard, a curtain-type wood louver system is installed to secure privacy and provide a shade.
Contact Jin Seok Yang(Y GROUP)