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H-House (Hyun Deok Jae), Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Wednesday 09 Jan 2013

Overcoming obstacles

Images: Bang by Min 
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Three generations living in a single residence on a challenging site presents difficult brief for South Korean architect Sae Min Oh 

The H-House (Hyun Deok Jae) by Sae Min Oh of Bang by Min is a 404 sq m home in Seongbuk-dong, Seoul. The angular property was the recipient of several high profile awards last year for its exception interior and exterior design, including the 30th Seoul Architecture Prize and the 16th Korea Interior Design Awards.

Architect Sae Min Oh was presented with a series of challenges by the project’s client: the house was to become home to three generations of one family who were to be able to spend time together as a family unit but also have space to enjoy time alone in privacy; there was to be solid daylighting and ventilation on all floors including the basement and first floor, both of which were affected by a sloping site where the front is lower than the back by 8m; and the lower portion of the property was to be rented out as a commercial unit.

To first combat the demanding slanted site, it was decided that a courtyard with sunken garden was to be inserted which would draw natural light down through all levels of the property. Wide panes of glass which face towards this open-air void to illuminate the interior spaces and certain walls near the top levels have been left out to boost natural lighting and ventilation through the courtyard.

By introducing flexible spaces within the house, the architect solved the issue of three generations living in a single residence. Folding wall panels and flexible doors have been inserted and the living room divided over three levels to enable each family member to have their own space. This way they can spend their time together as a single unit of enjoy more freedom in the peace and quiet of alternative living rooms.

Of the building’s interior design, Sae Min Oh explains: “Exposed concrete and wooden panels in ‘mud’ colours create a more effective result than luxurious materials. The different materials used to compose the building emphasize the property of matter and create various looks with shadows.”

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Status Completed
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