Modern Korean House Inspired by Traditional Architecture and Feng Shui

There’s something quite unique about planning and building a house from scratch. As a client, you get to tailor it to your own needs and ideas and as an architect or designer you get to draw inspiration for the site-specific elements and surroundings. When building the Floating House in 2009, Hyunjoon Yoo Architects followed a very specific set of requirements.

Floating House yard at sunsetView in gallery
The house sits on the Northern part of the site to take advantage of the view
Floating House sunset viewView in gallery
At the back there’s a large courtyard populated by a few sculptural trees
Floating House river viewView in gallery
The view is magnificent as the house overlooks the valley and river

The residence sits on the Northern part of the site and the South section is occupied by a guest house. The clients wanted the two structures to be as far away from each other as possible. As a result, the guest house was placed close to the fence at the edge of the site.

Floating House greeneryView in gallery
It sits in an area surrounded by greenery and open space
Floating House back facadeView in gallery
The architects used a combination of modern and traditional design elements
Floating House back yardView in gallery
The black concrete used for the structure is reminiscent of the tiles seen on traditional Korean houses

The clients had a few specific requests. For example, because they run a restaurant in the area, they wanted the house to be situated about 5 minutes away from it. After the site was selected, the clients requested a view of the river. At the same time, they consulted a Feng Shui specialist and decided that they didn’t want the main door to face East and to have anyone living in the South-East.

Floating House rooftop viewView in gallery
The view of the river is also magnificent from the rooftop terrace
Floating House guest house in southView in gallery
The design of the house is simple, with relatively small windows on the back facade
Floating House guest houseView in gallery
In order to make the most of the view, the architects elevated the house leaving the ground floor open
Floating House fenceView in gallery
A tall and solid fence gives the house privacy from its neighbours

Other requests included a set of spaces such as a study room, a BBQ area, a guest house, a large yard and a low swimming pool. To honor all these desires, the architects carefully planned everything and chose to level the house and to raise it in order to capture the most beautiful views. At the same time, they designed it with a roof garden and terrace.

Floating House facade designView in gallery
The clients requested a balcony that surrounds the house, making it seem bigger
Floating House ground floor viewView in gallery
The ground level has large supporting columns and serves as a semi-covered social area
Floating House ground floorView in gallery
The balcony frames the first floor, expanding the interior space and giving the impression of more space
Floating House balcony interiorView in gallery
The balcony serves as an extension of the interior space, bringing in lots of natural light
Floating House balcony viewView in gallery
At the same time, it enhances the views of the river and surroundings

The South Han River can be viewed from all the rooms of the house, especially thanks to the one meter wide balcony which was built on all four sides of the building.

Floating House study viewView in gallery
A study room was also requested by the clients. It too has a view of the river
Floating House study roomView in gallery
The balcony wraps around the whole house and links all the spaces
Floating House living areaView in gallery
A circular layout was chosen for the social area to maximize the space
Floating House circular sectionalView in gallery
A large sectional runs along one of the corners forming a semicircle

The social areas including the kitchen, dressing room and a bathroom were placed all at the center of the house, gathered in a compact mass. Inn addition to these spaces, there’s also a bedroom towards the East. The living room is positioned to the West and a circular traffic line connects the spaces, making the floor plan appear bigger.

Floating House staircaseView in gallery
The staircase doesn’t stand out or take up too much space
Floating House bedroom designView in gallery
The private spaces are organized on the upper level, featuring expansive views
Floating House bathroom areaView in gallery
The bathroom is spacious and too too has a beautiful view
Floating House sunken tubView in gallery
The tub is sunken and positioned close to the window