LocationBuyeo, South Korea
Lead ArchitectPark Hyunhee
”Suwŏlok”, a place with 60 years of history.
Two houses, located at Subuk-ro, Gyuam-myeon, Buyeo-gun, were built in 1955 and 1962. These houses have been undergoing constant changes with their space design as different needs had arisen. Finally stabilized only after everyone has vacated them, these two houses have been rebuilt by two groups – Segan, a group of traditional crafters, and Starsis, a group of designers.
We wanted to preserve the look of space for *Suwŏlok by either removing stacked layers from it to return its original form and by repairing old, broken items. This project was done in order to reclaim the original vigor for this space, which is now filled with the timeless void, by luring people to visit this place once more.
* We name this space’ Suwŏlok’ again, after a small Korean styled pub that this place was at the beginning.
"On 1962 A.D., May 18th of the lunar calendar, during the time of tiger, we erect a pillar and celebrate the completion of the frame for this house. We hope for all Five Blessings of men, and pray to be as eternal as the three lights of heaven – the sun, the moon, and the stars."
This place was not an adequate structure. Structural materials were loose and walls were full of fungi. This space had undergone changes that ended up with nine malfunctioning doors cluttered around. One door led to the backyard. Another door was blocked by cement.
We decided to leave the trace of doors. Each door was going to stay where they were, but with different forms and functions. Some were left as a door, preserving the original human traffic flow design. Others were changed into windows for letting the light inside. - "On 1955 A.D., July 28th, during the time of sheep, we erect a pillar and celebrate the completion of the frame for this house. The owner of the house was born in the year of the rabbit, and we wish this place a good luck."
Without a touch from the human for a long time, this house looked cold and haunted. The *Gudeul floor was covered by layers of cement, and plywood on the ceiling had many holes that must have been fixed many times over. Curious about the original shape, we carefully began to uncover the inner structure that was hidden from us. Treasure-like traces have been revealed one by one as we were working. The inner structure, which was done 60 years ago, was surprisingly robust that its age was almost irrelevant. We hope the warmth of people will once again fill this place, which has returned to its original shape.
* Gudeul: A Korean traditional heating system