Featuring a relief-patterned façade with strong diagonal lines this house in Seoul makes a real impact
South Korean architect Moon Hoon designed this striking Seoul residence, named Dogok Maximum, for his mother. The architect used the personality of his client and the history of the plot, which was formerly occupied by a fortuneteller and a shaman, as guiding influences for the design of the building.
The house includes a basement photography studio and a ground floor reception area. Upstairs there is a larger structure where the living, kitchen and sleeping areas are found.
Commenting on the project Moon Hoon said: “It reflects the client’s personality in a frank manner. Considering that the client, who had dreamt all kinds of mysterious dreams only to overcome them while living in a house built on a rock of mystical forces at a high area of Gangbuk, Seoul, purchased the plot of a fortuneteller and a shaman beside a tall wall in Gangnam, this is a world that must be full of many unexplainable things. In contemporary terms, this building would be considered a mixed-use narrow house, combining a basement studio for the client's son, a photographer, a reception area, as well as a residence for mother and son that has been equipped with a compact elevator to account for the weakened joints of the elderly.”
Diagonal patterns are created using raised sections on the exterior of the building and windows have been cut into the patterns. These windows are deliberately small to protect the client’s privacy in this busy urban area.
Moon Hoon continues: “I feel uncomfortable whenever I see contemporary buildings with large openings. Such an entrance could be even worse if it is for a residence because personally I think it is often feared that it would only allow too much light inside and violate my privacy. Of course, it can be controlled with a variety of devices, such as curtains or louvres, but they can’t be used as the fundamental solution. Thus, I proposed small and unique windows to my client for this project. At first, they were concerned that it would be too dark inside but it has resulted in a space that has both sufficiently bright spots and dark ones.”
The interior is finished using a variety of woodwork techniques including parquet flooring and chequerboard tiling, while the bathrooms are stacked in the smaller of the two towers at the top of the house where windows and a skylight offer views over the city.