- Structural Engineer:Yoon Koojo Structural Engineering Co.
- Construction:Ean R&C (Kim Jongkyu)
- Country:South Korea
Text description provided by the architects. The Gwacheon residence required a fundamentally different attitude and concepts in terms of constructing the house. The house comprises of various motifs, including environmentally friendly features, a direct symbiosis of modern life and nature, ways to generate the house fully becoming the aesthetics of the house, with the light and simple logic of tectonics and, yet everything encapsulates the principles of “simplicity”.
The house mainly faces southwest, along with the coordinates of the land. Natural heating and cooling are achieved through the double skin, which is a kind of passive solar energy technique, so the house becomes like a greenhouse in the winter and breezes are funnelled upward during the summer. Even though the walls offer sufficient insulation, the windows facilitate a cross ventilation system. As the roof looks towards the south, solar-cells are installed on the sloped roof to generate the energy. The size and inclination of the roof were adjusted to the altitude and gradient of the sun. The sloped roof is segmented into several sections and is the result of “aesthetic intentions” and “engineering needs”.
A skylight was installed on the upper side of the living room, thereby allowing bright sunlight to penetrate the deepest recesses of and to invite the sky into the house, thereby presenting the experience of the sun, the moon and stars from inside. My intention for the house was to give it the most lightweight structure that was possible by using a minimal amount of steel frame materials, reducing the thickness of the walls to a minimum, producing less waste material when the house gets eventually demolished, and making use of recyclable components. The composition of the house is also simple. Facility cores are situated behind the stairway, thus enabling efficient conducting of movement of the facility line. This means that most of the areas in the house can be repositioned and restructured liberally.
The space connecting the living room, the master bedroom and the dining room converge into a large space, allowing space partitioning to be easily adjusted in the future. While designing the Gwacheon residence, I sought not only to satisfy environmental objectives. This was incorporated into the system of design and tectonics through a composition of wooden walls, the deployment of windows, and details from the side windows. In all of these new attempts, including abundant spatiality created by difference in angles of the grid system of walls and the sloped side of the roof, mew materiality created by thin walls, economic components and simple details, what is essentially important in the end, is the fact that I tried to stay true to my principles, not endeavoring to make the house merely beautiful.