Hanok : the Korean house by Fouser, Robert J.; Lee, Jongkeun; Park, Nani

By Fouser, Robert J.; Lee, Jongkeun; Park, Nani

Twelve examples of the Korean apartment variety, conventional at the external and in use of typical fabrics yet with modern interiors.

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55 With its dark wood and Korean antiques, this sitting room in the main house evokes the rusticity of the early twentieth-century Arts and Crafts movement. Wooden screens with vertical and horizontal rodding slide in front of glass panes to modulate the amount of natural light in the room. The upholstered chairs by Korean designer Youngbaek Min blend beautifully with the antique chest in the center of the room, once used for holding money and valuables. The finely woven mat on the floor is for summer use and is replaced with a carpet in winter.

Traditional Korean paper was pasted onto glass panes to make the windows look traditional. This created a neo-traditional or “neo-Joseon” style that evoked images of rural gentry, or yangban, living in country estates. The pace of renovation began to slow in 2010 as the city turned its attention to Seochon, the neighborhood on the opposite side of Gyeongbokgung Palace. The area has a number of hanok and was threatened by redevelopment until 2008. To counter the pressure for redevelopment, the city applied the same system of incentives for renovation to 30 Seochon.

62 The traditional minimal-ist aesthetic of the main house imbues all the rooms with a Zen-like atmosphere that encourages contemplation. Tables and cushions for tea are portable and can be placed anywhere. 63 64 In Korea, pine trees symbolize longevity and steadfastness. A pine in the garden, such as this one near the exterior wall of the courtyard outside the calligraphy room, is thought to bring good luck to the residents of a house.

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