Architect: Joongwon Lee & Kyung-A Lee
Program: Single Family House
Location: Pankyo-dong, Bundang-gu, Sungnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea
Site Area: 231.2 m2 (2,488ft2)
Building Area: 110.8 m2 (1,192ft2)
Exterior Finish: Traditional Brick, Curtain Wall, Stainless Steel Panel, and Stucco
Interior Finish: Wood Flooring, Paint on Gypsum Wall Board, Wood Paneling
Sam-dae-heon began with a set of open questions. Is it possible to suggest new modes of contemporary living? Is it possible to overlap past, present, and future in a house, thereby dynamically engage in a discourse of time element in a spatial construct? Is it possible to continuously arouse a sense of expansion to a house that is limited in size and budget? Is it possible to comply with the needs of the client and simultaneously meet the aesthetic and scientific demands of a house?
Most of the recently built houses in Pankyo follow the normative approach in designing the openings, that is, windows on the public side are minimized whereas windows on the private courtyard side are maximized. The issue of privacy overrules other possible options that could enliven the streets of neighborhood. Sam-dae-heon is antithetical to ‘maximum transparency on the courtyard side only’ attitude. The design articulates the events of the public in a family and openly frames it to the street.
In designing the house, a traditional grey brick used in nearby Suwon Citadel repeatedly coursed through the minds of iSM Architects. Pankyo is a suburban area deficient in context and identity. It is uncertain whether a house in Pankyo should be classical-contemporary or contemporary-classic. Leaving the question open-ended, the design juxtaposed classical brick with contemporary glass and stainless steel. The juxtaposition of different materials displayed the inherent characteristics of the juxtaposed over the rhythms of daylight. Awareness on the historical time resulted in capturing of the diurnal time.
The old client couple lived with their son’s family for the practical reasons. The first floor was a space for the old couple and the second floor was for the son’s family. Excluding the dinner time, they wanted exclusive privacy between the floors. This led to a terrace strategy. The resulting volume of the terrace is a calibration of daylight studies. To enhance the sense of expansion in a limited site, the living room of the P-house is at a junction between outside open green strip and inside courtyard.
The questions mentioned in the opening paragraph are still pending. iSM Architects wishes to wrestle for another solution in the Pankyo area in near future. It will be an alternate option for new modes of living, bridging past and future, and balancing ideal and real: it will be a perfect house for a client, but at the same time, an engaging house for street and the neighborhood.