LocationSeoul, South Korea
Architect in ChargeSae Min Oh
Design TeamChangwook Kwak, Hyunduck Yoo
Text description provided by the architects. Located at the alley of Seongbuk-dong where community of village has formed for a long time, ‘H-House’ is a house to keep the meaning to show the virtue secretly. This house reveals itself without clumsy and stimulative feeling in the scenery of old alley, suitably for its name. ‘Sae Min Oh’ seemed to concentrate on the details somewhat excessively at this project. He has pride and feels affinity to this project because he has proceeded it with craftsmanship from plan to completion for a long time.
The site of ‘H-House’ had the slope ground where the front level is lower about 8m than the back level, which became a problem in designing it. Besides this physical problem, the architect had more difficulties with the client’s demands ; to create a house for three generations, a house with good daylighting and ventilation on the basement and the first floor. Consequently, it is a successful project because the client is satisfied with it.
Firstly, the architect had to design a space where three generations could live together and privately at the same time, in order that they could behave individually while being together. The architect created the second floor as an interspace of this house divided into three floors, where they can form a community of family, behave individually and have their own area. He divided the living room on the second floor into three levels, which give each member of family their own area naturally. This space opened but different in levels enables family to do privately and separately. And folding door and changeable wall make it possible to expand or divide the space according to the user’ demand.
Secondary, daylighting and ventilation on the basement and the first floor were very important in this house because the ground level had the big difference between the front ground and the back ground. It is said that the biggest problem of the existing house before ‘H-House’ was just the daylighting. The house was filled with dark and damp air because the basement and the first floor were not lighted and ventilated well. In order to solve this problem, the architect placed courtyard and sunken garden, connected from the lower floor to the sky, encouraging the brightness to the whole building.
Lastly, the architect solved the client’s third demand, to have a commercial space for rent on the basement floor. It is just beauty shop ‘Miega’. Beauty shop ‘Miega’ involves the formative element of ‘H-House’ and the shape of this village Seongbuk-dong, and it attracts the attention with its unique space design.
Exposed concrete and wooden panels in mud color created the more effective result than the luxurious materials, with the constructing details the architect insisted on completing, although they are not expensive. The different materials to compose the building emphasize their property of matter and create the various looks with their shadow. The designer also used the materials by cutting them into small unit. These details make this house have a shape to reveal the virtue secretly with the sense of existence but without any overawing sense.