Curves, concaves and fish scales

21 Feb 2013

Curving house constructed in South Korea

A ‘concave lens’ curving house that recalls traditional Korean architecture has been constructed in Sinbong-dong, Yongin, South Korea. Designed by Seoul-based firm JOHO Architecture and completed in October 2012, the raised and curved house combines ash-coloured bricks set at different angles together with a STS mirror-type panel which wraps around the building.

Covering an area of 529 sq m, the distinctive design of the house was in part due to parking difficulties experienced by the home owner and the wish to combine parking and gardening spaces. By raising the house 2m from the ground by using pilotis, these problems have been solved.

The façade of the building has been constructed by arranging bricks at various angles from 1 degree through to 25 degrees to form what the architect describes as a 'concave lens' shape.

As well as this, the project contains bricks with two different surfaces: traditional ash-coloured bricks and bricks with silver water-repellant coating which creates a 'fish-scale' effect. Beneath the bricks, the mirror-like stainless steel surface of the lower wall, which has been used on the front and the side of the building, reflects the surrounding countryside and the differing colours of the various seasons.

While the building uses modern techniques and materials, much of the architectural lines and the internal layout has been inspired by traditional Korean practices. One such example is the curved roof line which brings to mind the curved roofs of traditional Korean houses.

This inspiration can also be seen through the use of pilotis which increases the exterior space which the architect says is similar to the principle of open living rooms in traditional Korean spaces. To conserve heat, a thick concrete floor has been constructed, which again is inspired by the Ondol floors seen in Korean architecture.

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