SPACE Magazine
SPACE Magazine
Unjung Aspen

Unjung Aspen


Joongwon Lee received a Bachelor Degree from Sungkyunkwan University and a Master Degree from MIT, Cambridge, MA. He is a professor at Sungkyunkwan University and a partner of iSM-Architects. His publications are “Story of Boston in Seeing Architecture (2012)” and awarded King Sejong Book, “Story of New York in Seeing Architecture (2014)”.
Kyung-A Lee received a Bachelor Degree from Sungkyunkwan University and a Master Degree from MIT, Cambridge, MA. She is a Massachusetts registered architect and a member of AIA. She is currently a partner of iSM-Architects.

The site is surrounded by existing houses, north is the only open orientation and the rest are all blocked; yet, even north orientation has an existing house across the 6m alley. In Korea, due to its cold winter, it is generally regarded economical (and also ecological) to get southern sunlight in the house to minimize winter energy cost.
At the site, an interesting condition was observed. The house right in front of the land has a clean face painted white without any fenestration or decoration. This blank wall, a white vertical surface horizontally distanced 1m from the property line, is an asset to the new residence design.
This existing white surface would provide a secondary wall to the new house. A wall, erected not by ones will, but someone else's, is a passive canvas of an active opportunity, allowing seasonal changes of Unjung (the town name Unjung is made up of two chinese characters; "un" is cloud, and "jung" is in midst of something. Unjung, oftentimes, is in midst of fog.) to the new residence.

Other problematic condition of the site is the slope. The south side of the site is 75cm higher than the north. This slope is not suitable for a basement garage, but suitable enough for a house of subtle vertical changes. If used, this slope becomes as a leverage to provide steps on the floor slabs of the house.
As subtle vertical changes in floor slabs became important, possible views and vistas along the longitudinal section became the potential condition of the site.

The first floor living room is identified in relation to the open space layout of the west-side existing house and the "white canvas". The second floor bedrooms, dynamic in floor elevations, vary in ceiling heights and glass openings. These are developed in conjunction with the varying setbacks of the massings of surrounding houses. The roof garden is a logical solution to possess the vistas of dense forestry on the south side and rolling hills on the north side. The Aspen is an experiment of conditional 'step-up' and situational 'plug-in' city.

Architect: Joongwon Lee, Kyung-A Lee
Design team: Hyomin Lee, Hyosung Kim, JungWhan Im
Location: Unjungdong, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Kyeonggi-Do
Programme: Residence
Site area: 257㎡
Building area: 127.19㎡
Gross floor area: 218.13㎡
Parking: 2
Height: 9.9m
Structure: Reinforced Concrete
Exterior finishing: Brick, Stainless Steel Panel, Alum. Curtainwall System
Interior finishing: Wood Flooring, Painted GWB, Wooden Wall Panels, Classic brick tile
Structural engineer: TNI structural Engineering
Mechanical·Electrical engineer: TIEM Engineering
Construction: ROK
Design period: 2015. 8. ~2016. 2.
Construction period: 2016. 3. ~ 2017. 1.

materials provided by iSM-Architects | photographed by Young-chae Park

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