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- To get the house back of our generation
One family decided to move their living foundation to Seoul and chose a site in Jeongneung for their house. And it became 50 years after they built a house and lived with their children. 50 years is a length for 2 generations, and also 70% length of average life span. During the time, children grew up and reached manhood while the roomy house became old and small. One of the children made up his mind to rebuild a house on the spot as his father did. The name of the house is ‘Reset House’ to prepare a new 50 years on the same site.
Jeongneung valley, which is lying on the mountain ridge, went through many changes. Bulky single houses disappeared one by one to grow density, and the streets became much narrow by cars. Front yards in the walls were covered with piled houses, and the paths were awash with cars than children. We needed some time to think about and organize the harmony between this house and the fast-changing neighborhood.
Going through development period, in the process of rapid urbanization, most of the towns in Seoul became bigger and bigger from single houses to multi-family houses, and to apartment complexes. ‘House’ lost its original meaning as a residence, and became a temporary shelter or an investment target. People wandered like a nomad for their work, school, or economic environment. They only considered house as one of their most precious property.
This town was also a quiet residential area, but old and simple houses were being reconstructed consistently since this area was close to university and accessible to the main street. Rebuilding this house as a single house was keeping itself to the atmosphere of the neighborhood, but the owner wanted a house committing to its meaning without being swayed to other conditions such as economics.
The owner was one of the children left in this house with his mother. There were only two people left in this house. But on holidays, the children grown up come in Jeongneung valley again with each of their family. Therefore, this house had more than two people in itself as a user, so we had to put plenty of movements inside.
There were various vegetables growing by organic farming in the small green farm in the yard. And there was a small rock near the house, where their poor father walked up the steep mountain range to sit down and look down their house. While we were building the house, their mother watched the process on the place.
Their mother who is ‘farming’ a small garden is respected as an elder of the town. And the space for her is the center of the house. We arranged the room for the mother and the guest room on the south side, and put the kitchen and the room for grandson on the north side, where it is close to road and has good scenery.
By the way, the second floor for the children has more privacy. We disposed as if there is another house piled on the house, and put the skylight up to see the stars. Also there is a library which is expandable to room by accordion doors. Several small terraces are floating in the air, looking down the town, the foot of the mountain on the south side, or the valley on the north side. Each of the terraces has their own characteristics, just as they are several front yards.
The original house was also built in brick. Brick has a meaning of extension from past, and also it is a material which gets on in years. That is why we chose the skin of the new house as brick. The color of the brick could have been brighter, but the context of the surroundings and the original red color of the brick fit with the exterior of the house to be heavy as the meaning and time in the house. Since the road around the house was bending, the wall had to jog along the shape of the room several times, and the volume of the brick brought the feeling of the mass into relief.
Thinking about the old-but healthy-mother and the kind prime-aged son to like together, we wanted this house to be heavy than light, simple than stand-out. Like understated details around the window, and the layer of time in brick, we wish this house to endure in silence and stay for a long time, more than 50 years.
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