the world's most visited architecture website
i

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects

i

Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.

i

Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »

i

All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.

i

Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

All
Projects
Products
Events
Competitions
Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Housing
  4. Chinese Boxes / thescape

Chinese Boxes / thescape

  • 01:00 - 28 August, 2014
Chinese Boxes / thescape
Chinese Boxes  / thescape, © SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi

© SungKyung Choi © SungKyung Choi © SungKyung Choi © SungKyung Choi + 39

  • Architects

  • Location

    Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
  • Architect in Charge

    KyungHwan Chun (jaeminahyo.com)
  • Area

    237.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2013
  • Photographs

  • Collaborators

    SeungYoun Cho, JinHo Kim, SeungJun Kim
  • Structural Engineering

    KwangLim Structural Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

    HanBaek F&C
  • Electronic Engineering

    ChunIl E&C
  • More Specs Less Specs
© SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi

‘Chinese boxes’ is the first built project of ‘thescape’, an architectural design office based in Seoul, South Korea. It is a very small apartment house, 237.34sqm of gross floor area, with four units and one underground studio.

© SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi

The site is located in near the Gangnam Streets, one of the most vibrant areas in Seoul, where land price is extremely high. And the site is very small. So the overall building silhouette had to be followed from the maximum 3-dimensional buildable area defined by some building regulations.

Diagram 8
Diagram 8
Section 4
Section 4

The architect found the silhouette looks like ‘Chinese boxes’; a simple paper box for take-out food. Moreover, according to the dictionary, ‘Chinese Boxes’ has another meaning; a box in a box. The description ‘a box in a box’ eventually reveals the unit organization.

© SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi

Each of the units actually has a box (a bathroom) in it. It was an important design issue, to treat a bathroom not as a two-dimensionally separated room, but as a solid volume occupying the space of the unit. So the name-Chinese boxes-is rationalized.

© SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi

The composition of the building is very simple. A central staircase ties two units. The building has two floors above ground, so there are four units in the building. But it is not easy to notice the building formation from outside, without explanation. The architect wanted to conceal conventional codes of the apartment, such as a balcony, a big window for bedroom, a small window for bathroom, etc. As a result, the building appears as one simple piece of sculpture, rather than an ordinary-neighborhood-apartment.

© SungKyung Choi
© SungKyung Choi
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Chinese Boxes / thescape" 28 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/540576/chinese-boxes-thescape/> ISSN 0719-8884
Read comments
Read comments