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Low Cost House / JYA-RCHITECTS + Mue & Zijn Architects

  • Architects: JYA-RCHITECTS, Mue & Zijn Architects
  • Location: Jeollanam-do, South Korea
  • Area: 57.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Hwang Hyochel, Courtesy of JYA-RCHITECTS

© Hwang Hyochel © Hwang Hyochel © Hwang Hyochel Courtesy of JYA-RCHITECTS

  • Construction: team of Ra kwonsu
  • Structure: HM
  • Interior: SM interior
  • Budget: 42,000,000 won

This house was the very first product of “Low Cost House Series”, a joint project with non-profit organization Childfund Korea to renovate houses of low-income people living in a very poor environment. It was for a family of six, parents and four children who had lost their house by fire last October in a village called Beolgyo situated in the southern part of South Korea.

© Hwang Hyochel
© Hwang Hyochel

As we launched the project and started to rebuild this burnt house, we had to solve three major problems. The first problem was its inefficient plan. Although the original housewas about 49.5m2 in size, the actual space the family could use was very limited with an inefficient and restricted flow of movement. The second was that there was no insulation in the exterior walls as the house was very poorly built by an inexpert local builder a long time ago. The last problem was a light. As the building was facing north, and the shades of tall bamboo trees on its south were so thick, the light could not penetrate the house at all.


The success or failure of the project depended on finding the most efficient, economical and practical solution. One of the keys we found was a roof. By using cheap air caps in the roof, an exceptional method in architecture, we have provided both light and insulation to the house. It was to overlap 25 sheets of air caps with three air layers each to create 75 insulated air layers in total. This air cap-insulated roof was to keep the whole house as light as possible by penetrating sunlight and insulate the space as well.

© Hwang Hyochel
© Hwang Hyochel

Another solution was to create two adjoining rooms separated by a sliding door for four kids (two boys and two girls) who used to live together in one very tiny room. The door in the middle now gives privacy to both the boys and girls when kept closed and created ‘one’ space that they all could play and study together when wide open.

Cite:"Low Cost House / JYA-RCHITECTS + Mue & Zijn Architects" 15 Mar 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>