LocationSeoul, South Korea
ArchitectsJoel Sanders Architect, Haeahn Architecture
ClientLIG Engineering&Construction Co.
Units12 at 3,000 sf each
From the architect. This project is located in the exclusive district of Seongbuk-dong, a neighborhood where precious traditional architecture and natural landscape is preserved and celebrated.
Presented with the challenge of a steeply sloping site, this enclave of 12 private houses is designed so that every residence possesses ample private outdoor space and unobstructed views of the landscape. From the scale of the site plan to the design of the individual units,the project weaves together building and landscape, natural and synthetic materials, and indoor and outdoorspaces. Each residence is 3,000 sf with a garage/entertainment level and two living levels.
The project’s design updates the ancient principle of the “borrowedview,” a compositional technique employed by Asian gardeners to create an impression of continuity between private gardens in the foreground and natural features in thedistance. The staggered arrangement of L-shaped dwellings ensures that each unit enjoys unobstructed open southern views of a wooded valley, framed in the foreground by its neighbors’ planted greenroof.
All roofs are planted with a gridded pattern of four different species of sedum. When viewed from the national park across the valley, the pattern merges to form a dynamic composition of colors that change with the seasons, blending the structures into the densely wooded mountains surrounding the site.
A CONTEMPORARY INTERPRETATION OF TRADITIONAL KOREAN DOMESTICITY
Inspired by its location, the design approach incorporates elements of traditional Korean architecture into a more progressive design vocabulary. The continuous stone wall along the internal street protects the privacy of residents in a manner similar to bulwarks that once fortified ancient palaces. In addition, the cantilevered roofs of each unit hover about the winding stone wall in a pattern that recalls the streetscape of a historic Asian city.
INDOOR - OUTDOOR ROOMS
Inspired by the layout of the Han-oak, the vernacular Korean courtyard house, each of the four unit types is organized around two courtyards, which extend living areas out of doors and visually link each dwelling with the landscape beyond. The material palette and panoramic views flow seamlessly from the terraces into the living spaces: natural Stone finishes continue inside through glazed walls to meet wood floors that accentuate living areas, while furniture and upholstery incorporate materials and accent colors from the mountainview, blurring the boundary between indoors and outdoors.