Project Overview

Lucia’s earth is located in the old downtown of Gong-Ju city. (Gong-Ju is one of the oldest historical city in Korea.) The house was originally built in 1964.: the first house was mainly built on the soil of unmade yard, and has two small rooms , a tiny kitchen, and a narrow attic.

However, when it comes to the story how the first house of Lucia’s earth was built it gave us different look of the ruined old house.


50 years ago, there was a family man he was poor but always try to be a good husband and a father to his five loving children. He was very determined to own a house for his family but it was not easy for him. So, he decided to build a small house by himself. However, the small house was not just little for him, it was too big for him alone. It took over 3 years to complete a basic house of 33 square meter size. : He had to earn and save for a single nail. He had to stop the construction when it ran out its stocks. And then back again when he earned the stocks , and stop again…….After all he completed his dream house, not much longer he lived there. Because of his sudden death. He lived there for only 3 years.


Since he died, his wife and children never left there and look after the small house.  After children had grown up and left home to a big city for working, yet his wife were still living in there.  She loved a small flower garden where planted long way beside of the house wall. For her, the house was not just an empty nest but a house for love and belief. She was very faithful to go to the Cathedral nearby the house. People called her Stella which is her baptismal name. She lived in the house until she died. Since that there was no one left in the house. The house was abandoned for years. No one interested in a ruined empty house until an unexpected visitor walking through the house.

She seemed a middle aged women. Her name is Lucia. She was seeking to buy a house but hard to find what she really liked one. Meanwhile she found an alleyway that was too narrow to drive down. Almost instinctively she got off the car walking trough the narrow alleyway ,and saw the abandoned house.  The steel house gate that rusted and broken was hanging on the tilt. The pieces of the broken earthen pots and fallen bricks and blocks were everywhere. (in Korea, Traditionally, the home made soy sauce , soybean paste and red pepper paste have been naturally fermented over years in large earthen pots outdoors. It is not just a condiment but represents the history of a family.) At the south part of house wall , there were a broken refrigerator and worn out household goods dumped at the courtyard.

However, she really liked the house. In terms of its location she thought it is very quiet. Particularly, when she saw the small flower garden where planted long way beside of the house wall, she made up her mind to buy it, ‘No need to think it over anymore!’

Not until that she did not know the house was Stella’s. Actually she knew Stella , not a close friend but they went to the same Cathedral. Now the small flower garden Stella loved has led to Lucia’s hands. The ruined house might have chosen the best landlady because she was the only one who saw the house ,not a ruined, as a treasure.


After hearing all the stories, we planned to mend the house like reknitting a thick sweater worn to a thread. First, we began to demolish it as a normal procedure for renovation but we speculated what to remove and what to remain, like saying remain is main, sadness become happiness and memories become histories , each meaning of the place regarded as a means of remodeling. As Lucia’s wish that remain all breathing of Stella’s trace, we replaced and reused torn down the old part of the house like the ship of Theseus. The wooden veranda that collapsed by corrosion has become an antique table and a vintage shelf. The closet that placed at the space in between two room as a partition has moved to the floor and become a dish cabinet. The broken earthen pots has become flower pots with  the soil of unmade yard. The rusted steel house gate and the rough cement roof tiles have been remained at the original position. The transparent plastic awning has become the same shape of bright iron plate shading.

The house was situated on the long site ,south to north, faced to east, when you enter the house you can not see the front of the house ,only possible to see the side of the house. Hence we have torn down the wall and put a window bring the sun light into the house. And also it makes that looks like it as a main facade.

Furthermore, we had to do something about the narrow and dark attic. : we removed the ceiling and exposed the structure of rafter, in order to make it more specious and to bring more sun light. While we removed them we remained something old traces like window frames and patterns of glass kitchen door. Likewise we have attempted to remain the old traces as much as we could but exploited the modern convenience applied as a material component.


While the power of nature can be forever the human life can not be. I think it is not a matter of eternity but the acceptance of  constant changings and movings.

Thus, although the changing of Stella to Lucia it will be continued as long as the power of nature exist.

That is why we named the house as Lucia’s earth.: In Korean, soil , land, yard, garden and earth  means all the same and represented as Mother Nature.


We just looked into the small flower garden as the will of the house and it has led us to a way how architecture can be sustained over time.


오래된 도시 공주의 구도심에 위치한 <루치아의 뜰>은 1964년에 지어져 올해 나이가 50이 되었다. 그리고 뜰 옆으로 방 두 칸, 부엌 한 칸, 다락 한 칸, 다 합해 33㎡ 정도 되는 집이 한 채 놓여있다. 50년 전 어떤 선량하고 가난한 가장이 아내와 다섯 명의 아이들과 함께 평생 살아갈 집을 짓기 시작했다. 그런데 준비해놓은 재료가 부족해서 짓다가 멈추고, 재료가 모이면 다시 집을 짓다가 떨어지면 또 멈추며, 무려 삼년동안 집을 지었다. 그리고 그 가장은 허무하게도 집을 짓고 고작 삼년 살고 세상을 떠났다. 집에 남겨진 아내와 아이들은 열심히 집을 가꾸며 살았다. 아이들은 다 커서 큰 도시로 나갔지만, 아내는 작은 마당과 담 옆으로 길게 만들어진 화단을 가꾸며 오래도록 살았다. 부인은 집 근처에 있는 성당을 열심히 다녔는데, 성당에서는 그녀를 스텔라라고 불렀다. 혼자 집을 지키던 스텔라마저 몇 년 전 세상을 떠나자, 오랜 세월 가족을 지켜보던 집만 혼자 남게 되었다. 그리고 몇 년 동안 집은 주인 없이 지내고 있었다. 스텔라와 같은 성당에 다니던 루치아라는 중년 부인이 있었다. 그녀는 시내에 집을 한 채 마련하려고 찾아다니던 중, 어느 날 차도 들어가지 못하는 한적한 골목에 있는 마음에 드는 집을 한 채 발견했다. 몇 년 동안 방치되어, 파란 철 대문은 녹이 슨 채 기울어지고 너덜거렸다. 마당 한쪽에는 담장이 넘어지며 장독대를 덮쳐, 깨진 장독조각과 깨진 블록조각이 같이 나뒹굴고 있었다. 남쪽 벽에는 망가져서 내놓은 냉장고와 이런저런 살림살이 부스러기들이 모여 있었다. 그 부인은 집의 크기나 위치가 적당하고, 무엇보다도 담 옆으로 가꾸어놓은 얇고 긴 화단이 맘에 들어 "더 생각할 것도 없다" 하며 덜컥 그 집을 사기로 마음먹는다. 그런데 그 집을 사고 나서야, 원래 주인이 자신과 같은 성당을 다니며 자주 만났던 스텔라였다는 것을 알게 되었다. 스텔라의 뜰이 루치아의 뜰로 이어진 것이다. 얼핏 폐허처럼 보여서 사람들에게 오랫동안 외면당했던 그 집이, 사실은 가장 마음에 드는 새 주인을 고른 것인지도 모른다. 우리는 33㎡에 불과한, 너무 오래 입어 소매가 너덜거리는 겨울 스웨터처럼 낡은 집을 되살리는 계획을 했다. 우선 철거를 시작했다. 집을 덮고 있던 시간과, 때와, 한때의 사랑과, 한때의 슬픔과, 한때의 기억들을 적당히 걷어내기도 하고 적당히 남기기도 했다. 스텔라가 남겨놓은 살림의 흔적들을 하나도 버리지 말자는 루치아의 바램대로, 뜯어낸 재료는 다듬어서 새롭게 썼다. 부분부분 삭아서 내려앉았던 툇마루는 작은 탁자와 선반으로 다시 태어났다. 방과 방 사이에 놓여 칸막이벽 역할을 했었던 옷장은 마루로 옮겨져서 그릇을 담는 장식장으로, 깨진 항아리는 마당 여기저기에 흙을 담아 작은 꽃을 피우는 화분으로 거듭났다. 녹슨 대문과 거친 질감의 시멘트 기와는 원래 자리잡고 있던 위치에 그대로 놓아두었다. 그리고 투명한 플라스틱 차양은 같은 모양의 반짝거리는 얇은 철판으로 바꿔 달았다. 집은 남북으로 긴 땅의 모양을 그대로 따라 지어져서 남쪽이 막혀 있고 동쪽을 보며 앉아있다. 그래서 들어갈 때 집의 정면이 아니라 옆구리가 보이게 되어 있다. 그 ‘옆면’을 ‘정면’으로 만들기 위해 벽들을 뜯어내고 유리창을 달아 집 안으로 햇볕이 많이 들게 했다. 좁고 어두운 다락은 천장을 뜯어내어 서까래를 노출시켜 높게 만들고, 원래부터 달려 있던 두 개의 창문은 틀을 그대로 살려 창호지만 새로 발랐다. 부엌으로 들어가는 문도 한국 전통 문양의 유리문으로 바꾸어 달았다. 옛 흔적들을 살리되, 새로 끼어드는 요소들은 굳이 옛 모습을 그대로 재현하기 보다는 현대의 장점들을 활용한 재료와 형태가 자연스럽게 공존하도록 했다. 사람은 유한하지만 자연은 영원하다, 그것은 자연을 이루는 요소 하나하나에 영원성이 깃든 것이 아니라, 자연이라는 거대한 흐름이 끊어지지 않기 때문이라고 생각한다. 루치아의 뜰도 가꾸는 사람은 바뀌었지만, 자연의 흐름은 늘 푸르고 건강하게 이어질 것이다. 우리는 오래된 집이 원하는 대로, 뜰이 원하는 대로 조금만 손을 댔고, 집은 되살아났다.
Architect | Project Team | Photographs | Location | Use | Site Area | Building Area | Building Scope | Building-to-Land Ratio | Floor Area Ratio |
Structure |
Finish | Supervision | Design Period | Construction Period | 설계 | 설계담당 | 사진 | 시공 | 위치 | 용도 | 대지면적 |
건축면적 |
규모 | 건폐율 |
용적률 |
설계기간 |
시공기간 |
Hyoungnam Lim, Eunjoo Roh in studio_GAON
Seongwon Son, Minjung Choi, Sangwoo Lee, Sungpil Lee, Hanmoe Lee
Youngchae Park
Jung-dong, Gongju-si, Chungchung-do, South Korea
Tea house
Wood Frame Construction
Stucco, Wood
2013.3.1 – 2013.6.4
2013.6.12 - 2013.8.2 임형남, 노은주 in studio_GAON
손성원, 최민정, 이상우, 이성필, 이한뫼
황인일, 최광호
공주시 중동
차 문화원
2013.3.1 – 2013.6.4
2013.6.12 - 2013.8.2

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