Dongsimwon, located in Mok 2-dong which is densely built-up with multiplex houses, is a new multi-family housing for the three generation family composed with parents and their daughters’ families live together.
The owner wanted to build a healthy and clean building to provide a good impression to neighbors considering the site located at the entrance of the alley. The owner has told first about effects of his new space to the city before discussing inner spaces of his life, his good will has guided the direction of the design.
Dongsimwon (The house of harmony)
- A house where three-generation families share minds together.
- A house where to enjoy in childlike mind and be full of children's delight.
1) Living with neighbors.
Dongsimwon is in a shape of exposing its building line to assure sunshine hours.
Instead of applying a mass plan allowing an illegal extension, Dongsimwon is applied with legal limits as they are for its design.
Relationships with Alley
As a narrow condition of the site, multi-family parking space in pilotis is accompanied with dark and obscure pedestrian environment. The upper and the bottom of the pilotis of Dongsimwon are finished with galvanized C section steel and epoxy that have albedo values. With T5 light, the ceiling and the floor exchange light each other to expand the space vertically, and this provides a new cityscape for the neighbors passing the alley.
Privacy and residential environment
Multiplex houses are installed with large windows to get economic benefits from a balcony extension but the windows do not properly function because of the railings by the legal balcony structure or blinders. These architectural elements are recklessly used by necessity, and spoil city views and cause many problems in lighting and ventilation. With a variety of opaque brick patterns, Dongsimwon creates a pleasant indoor environment and provides a new cityscape to neighbors through the unified design between the opaque walls and the elevation.
2) Different families live together
Narrow site, flexible structure:
To plan an individual life of each family in this narrow land of 165 square meters, a similar composite structure of a multiplex house is avoided. Each floor that is suitable for each family’s life style is planned in a construction method as if it is piled up with three single houses. Under this method, each floor is connected to various forms of stairs and those stair spaces are to be a good playground for children.
Collapsed boundary of rooms
Getting out of standard concepts on sizes of the living room, kitchen and dining room and the number of rooms, the various lifestyles of each family were reflected in composing spaces. The Kitchen and dining room for parents’ generation are planned to be shared with all family members and lack of rooms and storage spaces for parents’ generation caused by these spaces will be solved by sharing spaces in daughters’ generation. Room sharing among generations enhances inner space efficiency and enables variable utilization of space.
3. Small scale multi-housing as an alternative of downtown residence
There are 470,000 of residential buildings in Seoul and 200,000 buildings, almost half of the total, are multiplex houses. These type houses are in 2nd position after the large apartment type which is mentioned as a problem of uniformized residential culture.
Because of the limit of individual owners’ capital and the constraint of Building Code, those multiplex houses produce more inferior city environment than the large-scale development does so. Small scale multiplex house is the residential type of affordable and flexible structure to contain individual life in a city of a high land price.
This is the minimum residential unit for a humane life in the downtown providing delight of living with neighbors together. It's time to concentrate on the potentiality of small scale multiplex house as an alternative of downtown residence and pay more attention to this healthy housing unit which concerns relationship with the city.