Location229-1 Euljiro-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Architects in ChargeJunwoong Seog (By Seog Be Seog), Jinwoong Kim (mmoa. Studios)
The weight of 70 years of time
Chosunoak, located in Euljiro, is a restaurant that started in 1947. It was not so common in this day and age to exist continuously in the same location with the same name for 70 years when it was awkward to live slowly these days. 'Chosunoak' is a restaurant that does not promote itself noisily and does not show itself to the outside world unlike other restaurants and is a restaurant that is only known among regular customers and run around regulars. However, recently it was introduced through a TV program called ‘Wednesday Food Talk’ on TVN and finally showed itself to the world.
Now, we can see the regular customers who can be called as the older generation eating and enjoying their food together with the younger generation who look to be in their 20s to 30s in one space in harmony. When we became in charge of the new space of 'Chosunoak', the weight of concerns was more than the weight of time, and we felt the heavy concerns of the client until they decided to present ‘Chosunoak’ to the world.
The present project is located on the second floor of the building where 'Chosunoak' is currently being operated. If we explain a bit more in detail, we can say this is the second brand of ‘Chosunoak’. The current operator is the third generation, and it is said that the preceding operator has left a will to express his love for oak trees. The current operator wished to have that will to be incorporated when the restaurant is introduced to the world in a new appearance, and that’s why its English name is ‘Chosunoak’ instead of ‘Chosunok’ and the official name of the space in the second floor is ‘Chosunoak the Oak’.
We wanted to contain time, people and oak trees in the space, and we ultimately wanted to contain the thought that this is a space where people meet and enjoy culture. As always, this project started from the question that what is the essence of a space called ‘restaurant’, and we tried to make a space where people can fully feel the meaning of eating and enjoy it together with important people they are with in a not so heavy and yet not light space with ‘Chosunoak the Oak’.
By minimizing the heavy lighting and by accepting the natural light from outside, we made the space feel like time was flowing through the light. Also, we tried to make the finishing stroke in the space that expressed naturalness by having the engraving works of Choi Yu-jeong.
It seems that there is a conflict between the mind that wants to keep the good space or the restaurant to oneself and the mind that wants to introduce those places to others proudly. We hope that 'Chosunoak the oak' will become such a space for many generations and hope it becomes a place appreciated by many people.