Text description provided by the architects. Located on a north-west corner plot in a dense residential area near Seoul, W House is for a couple and two teen sons. While the corner plot allows the house to be more open, it also creates more risk of being exposed to the neighboring houses. With these conditions, the family’s request was very specific; Privacy. The request went as far as to sacrifice basic requirements for a house, such as ventilation and ample sunlight.
As an architect, we had to come up with an idea to give enough privacy, yet provide the basics. We designed “small courtyards” within the house which act as intermediary spaces between inside and outside; creating a buffer that softens the barrier. Each courtyard is different in how they relate to the outside. Some have side opening, while others have openings on top, and some have both.
While the house may seem monotonous and silent on the outside, bright sunlight and fresh air fill the inside through these courtyards. The large triangular opening faces the forest which provides a good view, sunlight, and ventilation. Other openings from the outside are small and are set back to visually protect the family. Although the house is closed to the outside, there are many openings around the main courtyard. Careful consideration was made to the positioning of the openings in order to give a sense of privacy yet have ample sunlight and well-ventilated spaces.