A small and simple house for a retired couple | Studio GAON
A couple transitioning into retirement asked Studio GAON to design their new home in a semi-rural area, specifically requesting a “small and simple house”. In carrying out their assignment, the architects looked to the past for inspiration:
The land on which this house now stands brought to mind a house called Do-San Seodang, which belonged to a philosopher of the 15th century by the name of Yi Hwang, and so we suggested a house of a style that reflected his to the clients. Although Do-San Seodang is small, simple, and linear, its design is conceptually rich. Yi Hwang embraced a theory called Gyung, which called for humility in oneself and respect for others, as well as a simple, practical, and rational lifestyle.
The small house has 43 m2 (463 ft2) of inside space on the ground floor, plus a small loft. There is also a large porch that almost doubles the size of the house. The porch at the entry end is followed by two main living rooms in a row, and then the tiny kitchen and the bathroom at the far end. The loft, accessed by ladder, is used as a study.
Borrowing from traditional Korean architecture, the ground floor plan is designed to allow for flexible and overlapping use of space. The two main rooms open to each other and the porch with folding doors. The room just off the porch is intended for receiving visitors, while the middle room is more of a private living area and doubles as the couple’s bedroom. It’s an unusual arrangement, at least by Western standards, but if you are building a home in which to live out the rest of your life, you might as well design a floor plan that works for you.
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