LocationEumseong-gun, South Korea
Architects in ChargeJaewon Suh, Euihaing Lee
Design TeamSooyeon Ahn
ConstructionREPERE (Junseok Hahn)
Text description provided by the architects. It is a very romantic imagination to build a house in the middle of a green rice field, but the reality was not so easy to get sentimental. The house could not be free from the gaze of others because the intercity bus terminal was in the vicinity. Therefore, the most important thing for the family was a protected exterior space where they can enjoy outdoor activities of the rural life with their two young children. The house had to be one and at the same time two because they are supposed to live with grandparents. And also another desire, that the house should look bigger than the actual one, reminded us a single-story house with the Korean letter 'ㄷ' shaped floor plan, where the courtyard in the middle seemed to be part of the inner space.
Compared to 'ㅁ' shape, 'ㄷ' shaped plan could be easily divided into two areas for the privacy of the family and the area in the middle could be used as a public space in the house which connects two areas. The inner space is divided into three areas with their own orientation: the family area, the grandparents or the guest area, and the living, dining areas which connect the two areas. On the other end of the courtyard that is enclosed by the 'ㄷ' shaped space stands a wall with a large gate which can protect the outdoor activities from the outside and also welcomes the neighbors when the gate is open. The courtyard in the center of the house becomes integrated with the inner space while changing the impression of the house occasionally as a water playground for children on summer days, a barbecue yard under a moonlit in the autumn night and a snowy landscape in winter. The roof, which slopes very low toward the courtyard so that the top plane of the roof is even visible from inside, not only adds to the openness of the courtyard but also blurs the boundaries of the inner space and the courtyard, making the house look more spacious than it actually is.
Thinking a new house in the countryside had to be somewhat different from the houses in the residential development area of the city. Having the common scenery in mind such as the single-storey houses with the gabled roof, the warehouses, and the simple vinyl greenhouses, familiar forms and materials are used in somewhat unconventional ways, which makes the house not so boring and foreign in the neighborhood. By using the corrugated galvanized steel plate for the roofing which is very common in the countryside and by stretching the wooden rafters lightly on the solid brick walls it was intended to give the intermediate sensibility between the Traditional Korean House (Hanok) and vernacular folk houses. In the courtyard, the concrete wall painted in white and the rough wooden gate with its exposed supporting structure reveal more the feeling of the countryside with its rough soil on the ground. In addition, the exposed ceiling with the cement-plaster, the concrete pillar with its traces of the formwork and the rough white-painted chimney are balanced with the white-painted walls inside and the elegant windows while showing more contrast.
Greeny brick house
With the lighting in the circular opening on the south which can light up the courtyard and the street at the same time, the front facade of the house highlights its presence creating a unique impression. However, because of the green brick surrounding the house coherently, it does not lose the unity of the whole. The greenish exterior of the house, which is unusual to be seen in the city, becomes part of surroundings while hiding in the green rice field in the summer and contrasting with the golden field in the autumn. The large opening on the main entrance, the stone frame surrounding the big windows and the high chimney create the effect of obscuring the dimension of the house from the distance and making the house somewhat smaller than its actual size. It is another characteristic of this house that the used material is same on the exterior but all four elevations are quite different within this very simple floor plan. That the high chimney doesn't act for the heating, but rather stands as a mere decorating element, has the meaning of symbolic representation which recalls the memories of childhood in the country house.