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2017_08_14
Aewol Unfolded House
         

Aewol Unfolded House

 

Seoro Architects

 

Kim Jeongim, principal of Seoro Architects, is interested not only in focusing and considering on dynamics and relationship between diverse elements in modern society but in reflecting them in architectural space. NEW Headquarter, Seonjeongneung Neighborhood Facility, Samsung Seoul Campus Design Center, Seoul Square renovation, Cheil Worldwide Office planning, Cheil Worldwide headquarter renovation are her selected major works. She graduated from Graduate School of Architecture in Yonsei University and won awards from Korean Architecture Award in 2011 with Paichai University Howard Hall and 2013 with hannam-dong La Terrasse.

There is a horizontal spatial connection established between the low walls, open fenestra, and large deck, all of which are similar to Jeju’s traditional exterior spatial style.

 

A House with Land, Scenary and Wind
Kim Taeil
(professor, Jeju National University)

 

Introduction
Jeju has undergone a great many changes since 2010. Buildings large and small have been constructed throughout Jeju, owing to the sudden upsurge in the influx of people and in foreign capital. The landscape of Jeju is also changing. When we talk about what Jeju is like or what is unique to Jeju, we are in a sense talking about the comprehensive image or appearance of Jeju, one that reflects the culture, history, lifestyle, and other characteristics of the Jeju region. Embedding this manifold sense of Jeju’s unique identity is a common dilemma faced by architects in architectural planning and implementation on Jeju building sites.

Ideas on the Unfolded House: A Combination of Jeju and Modernism
The Unfolded House is a small lodging and dining facility located at the edge of Gwakji Beach, one of Jeju’s most famous beaches. To deliver a sense of Jeju’s identity one understand the unique features of the landscape and the perception of living space that has been formed throughout the years, as well as the scale of Jeju Island. It all comes down to land, space, and scale.
First, the land must be respected. The terrain and landscape features of Jeju, with its unique geological characteristics as a volcanic island, must not be tampered with. The various conditions of the land create dynamic and diverse scenery. From this point of view, the Unfolded House dominates its landscape and scenery. Built upon atypical land, the guesthouse is a community form composed of three separate structure that each has their own unique and individual characteristics. The structure has personality because of its special variations, as the buildings seem to at times have been placed within the natural flow of the shape of the site, but others seem to run counter to the terrain. The arrangement creates an outdoor space where a view of the ocean, stone hedges, and Hallasan Mountain changes depending on where you stand. The name, Aewol Unfolded House seems quite fitting as the land, scenery, architecture will be unfurl to welcome the different guests that visit.
Second, it is about understanding and utilising space. One must understand the traditional straw-roofed Jeju houses that are a blend of Jeju citizen experience and philosophical ideas. Thus, one must go beyond morphological aesthetics and understand spatial aesthetics. The traditional spatial aesthetics of traditional Jeju architecture begins and ends with the stone hedges, entrance, and fenestra. Two of the three buildings of the Unfolded House are atypical shapes created on top of the irregular terrain. This is why the two-storey guesthouse, master unit, and restaurant can all retain their individual shape yet remain connected through independent entrances that exude different expressions from the outside. The Unfolded House is centred around the outdoor space that is created by the main building, subordinate building, and corner building structure, all of which are in line with the typical Jeju architectural style. There is also a horizontal spatial connection established between the low walls, open fenestra, and somewhat unnecessarily large deck, all of which are also similar to Jeju’s traditional exterior spatial architectural style. The use of bricks to give the spatial depth that is at the same time calm and indistinctive is a merit.
Third, a commitment to scale. The buildings in Jeju Island tend to be smaller in scale. This is because small-scale structures are more wind resistant and also because they creates a greater scenic harmony with the Hallasan Mountain and other mountainous ranges. The straw-roofed houses that are laid out across the flow of the natural terrain, is the scale fit for Jeju. As it happens, the scale of each floor the three buildings of the Unfolded House are close to the scale of these straw-roofed houses. Although at a glance the guesthouse seems larger in scale because it is a two-story building, it does not seem out of place or vulnerable to wind pressure, and therefore feels familiar to what we would normally consider native to Jeju.

Conclusion
The name, the Unfolded House, is a clear and concise title that reflects the vision and intentions of the building’s owner and designer. The foreignness and diversity of the scenery, the appropriate scale, the exciting extension of movement, and different views and expressions of the three-building structure are all made possible because the structure is in an unfolded and stretched-out shape. Unfolding the structure begins with the architect’s respect for the land, which is why the Unfolded House may seem more familiar and as if it truly belongs in Jeju.
However, I do feel that a better sense of articulation could have been devised in the interior and exterior spatial functions, as the guesthouse is rented out separately floor by floor. The outdoor area that connects the structure to the scenery is created naturally in the extension of the three buildings, and could have been more precisely planned to give the space a greater depth.
The spatial value of architecture is defined not only by the designer but also over time by the owner and user. It is my hope that the space can be enjoyed by users, as intended by the designer, and that the users can enrich the parts of the area that could do with some improvement.

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Kim Taeil is a professor of Jeju National University. He graduated from Dong-A University. He is planning facilities for the old and has participated in relevant projects in Korean and overseas. He has expanded research by having various interests in demographics and landscapes in Jeju.

Aewol Unfolded House is a small lodging and dining facility located at the edge of Gwakji Beach, one of Jeju’s most famous beaches.

The separate use of simple materials, depending on the different functions of the three buildings, presents different expressions, which is also a high point of this structure.

 


 

Flow and Intersection: Wind and Sight
Lee Sojin
(principal, Ateliers Lion Seoul)

 

Building a house amidst such beautiful natural scenery is truly an interesting task, as while it may seem easy it is a task that grapples with nature as well as trying to accommodate nature. The reason why I always argue that the given environment covers more than half of the design effort is because the architect can create a great design simply by more effectively utilizing the environment and making minimal adjustments. In other words, the architect determines whether the project will be an eyesore or a masterpiece depending on how he interprets the environment, incorporates it into the building, and on what role he gives the building to play within that environment.
Building a house amidst such beautiful natural scenery is truly an interesting task, as while it may seem easy it is a task that grapples with nature as well as trying to accommodate nature. The reason why I always argue that the given environment covers more than half of the design effort is because the architect can create a great design simply by more effectively utilizing the environment and making minimal adjustments. In other words, the architect determines whether the project will be an eyesore or a masterpiece depending on how he interprets the environment, incorporates it into the building, and on what role he gives the building to play within that environment.
My curiosity for the role of architects led me to Gwakji Gwamul Beach on Jeju Island, where I spent an agreeable time learning about one architect’s thoughtful ‘interpretations’ of the ‘nonexistent answers’ in architecture. The guesthouse named Unfolded House is comprised of three two-story volumes that are connected to a flower garden, in tune with the Jeju breeze. It is situated 30 metres from the beach and seems as if it has been nonchalantly tossed onto the site. However, I thought that by calling it a ‘house penetrated by wind and the gaze’ would be a more appropriate expression, because when taking a tour of the neighbourhood I noted the careful consideration that went into the design, sharing the ocean and garden with the neighbours by allowing the view through. The sprawled-out structure of the building is much like a stone wall that lets the Jeju breeze pass through. The structure orients itself to nature rather than fighting against it.
The lot on which the guesthouse is built is bumpy and would, from an urban perspective, be thought to represent the epitome of ugliness. However, the architect parlayed the ugly features of the land by making the buildings themselves straight and using the crooked boundaries of the land as fences for each garden, lending a more organic and luxurious impression to the outdoor spaces. The relationship between the slanted structures that face each other also give a sense of comfort and relieve tension as they gives the illusion of a structure that is open yet closed at the same time. There are more open spaces than packed spaces in this guesthouse, where the role of landscape planning really shines through. Shrubbery was used instead of high trees, and pearl millets and pebbles were used so that the landscape would experience minimal wind resistance. The rustling pearl millets allow you to appreciate the Jeju breeze from indoors as well.
One of the three volumes of this house is the building owners’ residence and the restaurant-cafe. The other two volumes house four guest rooms. The restaurant-cafe on the first floor is presided over by the guest house owner, and it directly faces the ocean, receiving the optimum view, and the interior is livened up with beautiful and sophisticated flower decorations. All units on the first floor are designed in an ‘L’ shape, offering spacious outdoor areas even larger than the interior space, so that guests can enjoy the rare pleasure of leisure. All units on the second floor are provided with terraces or courtyards that serve as medium spaces between indoors and outdoors, and each face different directions offering different views. The interior designer Hong Heesoo’s touch offers a unique atmosphere to the guesthouse, as each room has its own colour code and range of materials used in their design. Although the structure is small-scale, the collaborations between experts such as architects, interior designers, landscape architects, really stand out.
There remain questions when it comes to the selection of exterior materials. If you were to take away the ocean scenery and only look at the building, would it really look like a structure primed for the beach? What difference is there between this guesthouse and other luxury homes in Seongbuk-dong or Pyeongchang-dong? What are the most appropriate materials to use when constructing a new building on Jeju’s oceanfront? The salty breeze has already caused the steel fence to go rusty, despite the use of stainless steel, and the wooden siding already shows signs of fading. If you take into account the natural aging of materials, one might think that the aging process has been exceptionally fast, which surely cannot have been an intention of the architect. Although the architectural solution deserves high praise, there is room for improvement when thinking about the use of materials, the use of outdoor space, and the unique characteristics adopted by this structure situated on the oceanfront.
Nonetheless, the small neighbour’s garden in front of the stone hedge at the entrance of the guest house, the interlocking three buildings that each face different directions, and the terraces that frame the garden and ocean which connect the three structures all coming together to give a sense of happiness and comfort.
The architect and building owner’s vision in this place, with its black stone hedges, green fields, the Jeju beach, where the blue sky meets the blue-green ocean, will be finally reach realisation as guests come to visit.
As of now, there are a number of vacant lots surrounding the building but they will soon be occupied. It is my hope that these future structures can take inspiration from this guesthouse, taking great consideration for its neighbours and creating a breathtaking oceanfront here on Gwakji Gwamul Beach.

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Lee Sojin graduated from Yonsei University and Paris UPA 7. After her first practice at Renzo Piano Building Workshop, she continued working with Yves Lion. With this experience , she founded in 2007 her architecture firm, Ateliers Lion Seoul. She won the the Korea Young Architect Award in 2012 and Seoul Architecture Award in 2014. She is a member of Public Architects of Seoul Metropolitan Government.

The architect and the owner's vision in this place will be finally completed as guests come to visit in the future.

The collaborations between experts such as architects, interior designers, landscape architects, stand out.


Architect: Seoro Architects(Kim Jeongim)
Design team: Jang Hanjin, Jung Bokju, Kim Kyungsun
Location: 469, 472-5, Geumseong-ri, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea
Programme: neighbourhood facility, multiple dwellings House
Site area: 1,107㎡
Building area: 418.96㎡
Gross floor area: 521.37㎡
Building scope: 2F
Height: 7.5m
Parking: 5
Building to land ratio: 37.85%
Floor area ratio: 47.1%
Structure: RC
Exterior finishing: Monobrick, antique brick, ipe
Interior finishing: paint on gtpsum board, wooden flooring
Interior design: 디Design Seoda(Hong Heesoo)
Structural engineer: THEKUJO
Mechanical engineer: JU-SUNG MEC
Electrical engineer: HANGIL Engineering
Construction: MAROO Construction, co. ltd
Landscape design: The Garden (Kim Bongchan)
Design period: Aug. - Dec. 2015
Construction period: Mar. 2016 - Mar. 2017
Budget: 1.3 Billion KRW

 

edited by Kim Narae | photographed by Kyungsub Shin (unless otherwise indicated) | materials provided by Seoro Architects

 
 
tag.  Jeju , Guesthouse , Seoro Architects
       
no.597 (2017.August) 
 
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