Photographer: Youngchae Park
Architects: Hyunjoon Yoo Architects
Design Team: HyunjoonYoo, Jinsung Huh, Insil Son, Sunkeun Hwang
Location: Gongju-si, Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea
Area: 710 sqm
This house is for a couple in their early fifties. The husband decided to move to the rural area from the city after he received the diagnosis of his wife’s cancer. The family needed a retreat house. Therefore, he chose the site based on the “Feng Shui”, the Chinese philosophy for choosing the healthy site and architecture. A monk, who happened to be a “Feng Shui” expert, was asked for advice before the beginning of the design and site selection. The monk made up the design code for the house. The code lists are as follows.
There is a huge rock at the north of the site. According to the monk, the dining table must face the rock. The living room and the master bedroom must face the valley on the west. The angle has to be exact. These are the two major requests from the “Feng Shui” expert.
The client wanted to have one master bedroom, one guest room, one study room, and a single reception room. The reception room and the study room have to be separated from the main house for privacy. The area between two houses is used as a deck with a covered roof. This resembles the Korean traditional outdoor living room called “Daechung”. The heating system of the master bedroom has to be Korean traditional floor heating system; “Red Clay Ondol”. The whole master bedroom is made of red clay.
The house is made of wood. They used the cypress for the main interior finish material.
The architects did not have a lot of freedom to design the floor plan. Most of the floor plans were already placed by the client. Their design freedom is only at the mass play. Therefore, they made two different houses. Two house masses are normal pitched roof shape. However, one house is extruded as a cantilever structure, while the other house is erected. That is why the pattern of the wood panel on the wall is 90 degree different between the two masses. One side of the two stories house is finished with a roof material; zinc panel. By using the slope of the ground, they located the storage rooms under the yard. They wanted to make the house more like a village rather than a sing house. Therefore, they also located a storage house and a garage building in the surrounding area.
In order to make a healthier environment for his wife, the client wanted to avoid using concrete and steel materials for the house. The house is subsequently made of wood. They used the cypress as the main interior finish material because the husband believes the cypress is good for the patient. This house is the result of the husband’s love for his wife.