ArchitectsKen Sungjin Min, AIA / SKM Architects
“Paju Book City” is located in the strip of land connecting to Heyri Art Valley, Tongil Dongsan, Ilsan and the South Korean capital, Seoul. Overlooking the beautiful Han river and Simhak Mountain, the site of “Hermann House” is situated in the center of “Paju Book City” along the edge of the River northwest of Seoul.
The reed stream running through the city shapes the layout of the complex. The master plan focused on creating simultaneously a “green corridor” and “visual corridor” that cross the stream at a right angle as well as securing beautiful landscapes, which is one of the strongest advantages of the site. The complex is faced with reed field and river to north west, green corridor and forest to north east and Mt. Simhak to south east. The layout of each household was designed to enjoy the outstanding landscape and natural beauty. As for households difficult to secure view to the outside, a courtyard was established within the complex to allow them to have a yard and private garden.
“Paju Hermann House” is an example to introduce “Townhouse Complex” for the first time in Korea. The fundamental theme of the housing project was to integrate the merits of a rural detached house and an urban apartment. We intended to establish a duplex-type townhouse, they prioritized providing noise-proof measures between floors and breaking from the conventional building of uniformed ceiling height to ensure each household to secure utmost architectural space. The townhouse combined the advantage of detached houses such as securing space through differentiated ceiling height, removing noise between floors, creating comfortable indoor environment through natural draft, protecting privacy and having individual garden and parking space and merits of urban apartment including construction cost reduction and efficiency, convenient maintenance and affordable management and security.
In addition, enough pedestrian spaces including bicycle road were established so that people freely move without using a car within the city. It was also designed to enhance the connectivity of Hermann House with “Paju Book City.” In order to build comfortable complex with low building to land ratio and floor area, underground parking lots were removed and instead independent parking spaces were created for individual house at the road level. In front of living room and dining room enough space for an individual garden was provided for each household to grow own vegetables or enjoy gardening.