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 6, Jegi House in Seoul, South Korea by Jin Seok Yang (Y GROUP)
April 12th, 2018 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Jin Seok Yang (Y GROUP)
The 6th house. A house that should glow high? Jejidong House
The father used to work as a medicinal herb delivery person for a long time and now should collect waste papers for a living after his retirement. But he has hurt his leg and is staying away from work as the injured leg is slow to recover. His daughter who is seeking a job normally stays at home all day. This is a house for this family of three.
The project is a major remodeling work for a western-style house in the form of a typical urban modernized hanok. Originally, the house was a very sunny and pleasant urban residence. But over many years, with the rapid development of its neighborhood, the sunny side of the house gradually disappeared, thus the house grew ill. So did the people living with the house. Therefore, with an aim to recover its previous healthy state, the project begun.
A house that glows high
For this western-style house in the form of a typical urban hanok, which otherwise would permanently remain shady and become more isolated, a major remodeling work is undertaken so that it can reborn paradoxically as a well-lit house. Skylights are added, and openings on the south and east sides are made large as much as possible to receive light as long as possible even though it wouldn’t be enough. But to protect privacy, an external sliding screen door system is installed. For an urban housing in a very crowded area, hemmed in on all sides, the most important task is to secure a good lighting condition and privacy. So to speak, it’s a war on light.
This L-shaped house with a courtyard is designed after the space composition of hanok. The sloped roof is modified to have its slope on the south so that the eaves can come out in a natural way. Under the eaves, a daecheong maru is placed, and a ramp is added to overcome a large level difference. The window of a room next to the entrance is made large as much as it looks like an entry to mimic the space composition of a sarangchae. Possible alterations into a two-family housing or into a rental house to make a living are also taken into account. To make fully use of Hanok’s advantage in ventilation, windows are installed at the north and west sides so that the air can make a cross flow.
Every Korean has some emotional senses for Korean traditional housing. Therefore, rather than replicating the form of hanok, its unique characteristics in terms of scale and space are carefully inherited and implemented.
Trace of Hanok 1 – Main Entrance
The entry sequence is arranged to have no additional entry or access and flow across the courtyard and through a porch.
Trace of Hanok 2 – Raised floor
In the past, the Korean traditional floor heating system using ondol was widely used, and it was slightly raised above the ground to prevent moisture infiltration.
Through the major remodeling work, the original floor structure is reinforced, and a new heating system is installed. This structural reinforcement work has raised the floor. But the unique characteristics of hanok is preserved and reflected in the design.
Trace of Hanok 2 – Porch
Installed between the courtyard and house, the porch works as a bench in the courtyard and as a stepping stone to the main entrance, like the medium spaces of hanok.
Trace of Hanok 4 – Multipurpose space
In hanok, individual rooms transform into one large room, and when middle doors are closed, they turn back into separate rooms or become a room, a living room, a workshop or various spaces with a specific function. To inherit such a characteristic, a multipurpose space is added and linked with the kitchen and living room. With the middle door closed, it can serve as a bedroom.
Trace of Hanok 5 – Attic
In the old days when refrigerator didn’t exist, attics and their shaded space were used for various purposes including food or goods storing or working.
The idea of vertical extension was already there in hanok.
By using the multipurpose space on the north, this notion of vertical extension is adopted to construct an attic so that this compact house can have a storage and a versatile space. While implementing the attic and its function, a slope roof structure is applied to capture daylight, and the leftover space is used to make an attic above the family room.
There were too many hazards, and the house could harm its neighborhood. The first objective of this remodeling work was to build a safe house. Thus, structural reinforcement work started first, and this made the whole construction go longer than expected. After reinforcing the structure, many skylights are installed while rebuilding walls. The house started being strengthened.
With floors collapsed and the heating effect decreased, the house was bitterly cold always. Therefore, flooring work is carried out though it’s not common for a major remodeling work. The heating system is replaced, and even floor reinforcement work is undertaken to establish a foundation for rebuilding the structure.
As major remodeling work has an advantage in using spaces in various ways as long as the floor area is maintained, the existing Jangdokdae, toilet and storage in the courtyard are demolished, and their space is transformed into a utility room for kitchen to enhance efficiency in using space. Horizontal extension and transposition is attempted to maximize the effect of remodeling work. This has resulted in a larger courtyard which works as another extension of living room and as a gathering space which embraces the passage of time.
A Layered Space
The living room linked with the kitchen becomes a multifunctional space.
Inspired by the daecheong maru of hanok, the living room serves as an entrance and as a dining or family room depending on the occasion. With partition walls erected, it turns into a bed room.
Contact Jin Seok Yang (Y GROUP)