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A tower of strength

Nick Myall
Monday 13 Feb 2017

This home in South Korea was designed around a central observation tower that serves a number of functions

This completed residential project is located in a housing land development area behind Gimhaehyanggyo Confucian School, in South Korea. The client purchased the site because of its fascinating view over the cityscape of Gimhae, and wanted to build a house. However, unfortunately when he was eventually able to start the project, multi-household houses were already on construction around the site, and as even more houses were planned to come, thus the site environment seemed to come up with a different scene which betrays the client’s wish. Nevertheless the architect tried to do bring the cityscape of Gimhae that had captivated the client’s mind, into the new house. Therefore, as a solution, he introduced a concept of an observation tower in a form of a family room. And also, inspired by the hobby of the client; collecting ornamental rock and pot-planting, the architect created a foyer with a vertical gallery connected to the tower. The foyer presenting another distinguishing feature to the house, works as a communal space linking and integrating all the individual rooms. And the vertical gallery provides an exhibition space with a circulating route for ornamental rocks and pot-plantings.

The client wanted to build a very small house compared to its site size. Therefore, it was difficult to use actively the vast outdoor space while the architect believed that a true architectural manifestation comes out of communication with the outside. At least, he wanted to give every each room a separated outdoor space. This architect’s and the client’s wish to have south facing living room and master bedroom filled with the sunlight are unified together and resulted in a unique x shaped building arrangement. The architect got attracted by in-between spaces created by the x shaped configuration rather than the shape itself. He placed living room, master bedroom, kitchen and small rooms one by one along the flow of house so that the in-between spaces formed among the rooms can work as an independent outdoor space for each space. The terrace in front of the living room, which is inspired by Numaru; a Korean traditional loft floor structure, is constructed above the ground over the slope flows into the garden, and the space under the terrace structure is designed as a resting space. 

[From the architects]

Nick Myall

News editor

Key Facts:

Residential
Architecture
South Korea

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