House in Macheon: Studio GAON


The house is in a quiet and simple neighborhood in Macheon, a town famous for its luxurious black stones named Macheon. The owner wanted to build a small, modest ‘Korean house’ which fits to this land.

Korean architecture is based on the fengshui as well as on natural elements such as sunlight and wind. In fengshui, the mountain is called Jusan which is far to sit in the house to watch, and Ansan which is near and restful. After a long discussion, the architects decided to sit the house to watch the most round and gentle one out of numerous mountaintops in Jiri-mountain. One of the three major monks in Sil-sang temple, gave the name of the house ‘Gan-chung Jae’. It means that this house looks the ume flower and the moon outside the window, and invites a friend to have a cup of tea.

The owner of Gan-chung Jae wanted a Numaru, a unique space of Korean architecture, which is opened to three directions and below to enjoy summer. It sticks out from the front side of the house, just as a nose in human’s face. Behind Numaru, there is a traditional Ondol room, which is a Korean floor heating system, by installing a hypocaust and burning firewood. Numaru is for warm southern regions, and Ondol is for cold northern regions. Since Korea has four distinct seasons, there are such drastic combined forms of these two systems. The architects hung the prominent Numaru on the western timber construction, while applying two different heating systems; traditional Ondol system with hypocaust in a small room, and universal hot-water heating on other rooms. In this way they creted a mix of traditional and contemporary architectures.

House in Macheon, South Korea
Program: single-family house
Architects: studio_GAON (Hyoungnam Lim, Eunjoo Roh)
Project Team: Sungpil Lee, Minjung Choi, Sangwoo Yi, Seongwon Won, Hanmoe Lee, Soyae Baek, Joowon Moon
Area: 88.23 sqm
Completion: 2013


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