ArchitectsCounterDesign by Jae K. Kim
LocationSeoul, South Korea
Text description provided by the architects. The project is a four-story multi-functional building with commercial programs and rooftop housing, a common building prototype in Seoul. The program includes a bar in the basement, a café on the first, second, and third floors, and rooftop housing which can be transformed to expand the café if needed.
The goal of this project is to make people to have a similar experience to climbing a small mountain through their movement in relation to architectural form and space. In this way, the project creates a domestic journey in the small scale building of a highly dense urban area. Through internal and external stair ways, bridges, corridors, and a rooftop deck, people can experience the inside and the outside continuously and perceive a framed view through an opening. Furthermore, people from the public realm-- the street-- can have visual interconnection between the inside and outside of the building through openings, balconies, and the external staircase which project internal programs and movements to the outside.
Entering the first hall from the street, one confronts the roughness of the concrete in the circulation space, which is more emotional with natural light through an aperture. On the contrary, inside the building, in the café, there is a distinct atmosphere with white painted walls from the circulation space with the concrete. In addition, spatial contrast between the austere circulation space and the open spaces of the café, having a higher ceiling, provide totally different experience to people in terms of materiality as well as the perception of space. Finally, a roof-top deck, the destination of a journey, has a broad open view to the urban landscape.