Architects: Hyunho Lee, James Wei Ke (CHIASMUS Partners Inc.)
Location: Gongsu-ri, Yanggu-eup, Yanggu-gun, Gangwon-do, Korea
Design Team : Chisong Lim, Seungmin You, Sunghun Kim, Erang Park
Interior design team : Chisong Lim, Erang Park
Artist : Jo Sang
Client: Woncheol Shin, Seungyong Hyun, Jungsu Han, Minsu Han, Changhyeon Cha
Site area : 660 sqm
Building area : about 140 sqm
Total floor area : about 150 sqm
Project year: 2008 – 2009
Photographs: Young-chae Park
Forest’s quintet was conceived as a viable alternative to urban dwelling. Situated in the beautiful mountain range of Yanggu, it is a group of individual dwelling that collectively form an ideal retreat.
The relationship between each house on this 15 acre site reflect the relationship between its owners. They are either relatives and close friends; they have chose to build this dream together and retire together to this beautiful retreat. The architectural language and major material are very similar between each home. Yet, due to the special terrain each house sits on, and the differences in their living habits of each family, every house is unique.
Planning wise, the home are inspired by the idea of oriental pavilions. Oriental pavilions, especially those in Korean gardens, have a special way of orientating toward different views, while in close proximity to each. The difference in spatial and viewing focus allow them to be placed close together without being crowded.
The second inspiration from traditional oriental pavilions is the way they are always open to nature. In this way, these houses are not objects inserted in nature, but rather enclosure that allow nature to pass through. Most of the houses have views open to multiple orientations. And several of the homes have “gaps” that allow light, wind and view to literally pass through them.
The material we chose was very humble and practical. Using a type of redwood that resist decay, the exterior of these homes will last for a long time to come, while turning silvery grey, due to the natural aging process of the wood. Interior are quite simple in material and color palette, yet indefinitely rich, due to the different spatial experience one can have in different parts of each home.
During the design process, each family had many design inputs and endless conversations. These are their dream homes. We are so proud that at the end of the process, when they all moved in, rather than envying their neighbor’s home, each family stubbornly insisted on their own home being the best of the bunch.
In the end, there are no such thing as a “best” home, only the one that fits you the most.