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Written by: Song In-ho

Urban hanok is a hanok built on a narrow plot of land in the city, but it has a straight courtyard at the center of the house. The vitality of a hanok comes from its courtyard. Depending on the shape of the poles surrounding the yard, it can be divided into a ㅁ-shaped hanok or a u-shaped hanok depending on the arrangement of the poles. In both types, the main point of the composition is the yard at the center of the house. In some cases, although it is located on a site of less than 30 pyeong, the hanok has a straight courtyard at the center. And some have a narrow outer yard in front of the outer building. The outer yard is too narrow and poor to be called a love yard, but it is derived from the basic composition of a hanok where the yard and the house are paired. In this way, thanks to the yard, the interior space of the house becomes more mellow and rich, and the yard has more meaning than the external space.

Gahoe-dong formed a neighborhood along the waterway and road in the north-south direction, and the alleyway in the east-west direction around the road was divided into tree branches, creating the skeleton of the entire residential area. Seohajae faces the old road that goes up loosely along the slope in the east-west direction from the back of the Gahoe-dong office.

Seohajae is U-shaped open to the south, and you must enter from the north due to site conditions. In order for the U-shaped floor plan composed of the L-shaped main house and the ㅡ-shaped doorway to be placed smoothly with the neighboring hanok, it should be arranged around the alleyways in the north-south direction. Only then can it be a south-facing house on the east gate, and a south-facing house on the site opposite to the west-facing gate. On the other hand, entering the north on the east-west alleyway is a very unfavorable condition.

So Hajae Seo devotes a part of his land to make a short alley in the north-south direction, and applies the typical U-shaped plan of a south-facing house to the east gate. And there is a small gate yard in front of the --shaped gatehouse as wide as the short alley. In a hanok, it is basic to have a yard for each house, but in the case of an urban hanok, a U-shaped integrated plane directly faces the road, and the yard of the gatehouse deteriorates. However, Seohajae had a small outer yard in front of the gatehouse thanks to the land transformation resulting from the unfavorable condition of entering the north.

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Thanks to this urban context, the plane of Seohajae is simple in a U-shape, but there are more changes in the flow of space than other urban hanoks. If you go up a few steps from the road and open the gate, there is a short but full alley entrance, and if you open the door to the right again, you will enter the courtyard. And the kitchen, Daecheong, and Sarangbang are each facing the courtyard. Although it is not long, there is a change of direction, and there are gates, doorways, and chins at every node of the unit space, and accordingly, the depth of the area is created by changing the floor height.

Most of all, Seo Ha-jae is proud of the courtyard. By enhancing the level of the courtyard, the difference between the interior space and the level is reduced, so that the interior and exterior are connected more continuously. A short accident stone fence is placed about 1 meter in front of the southern border. At the back of the wall, clutter was stored and a small flower bed was decorated with the wall in the background. The diligence and discerning craftsmanship of the landlord stands out.

A narrow and long niche is placed between the U-shaped plane and the northern site boundary. A stone wall was built along the northern boundary of the site, and a small garden was decorated between the main halls of the main building. Thanks to this, when you look at Daecheong from the courtyard, Andaecheong is deeper and more beautiful.

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The sago stone wall is high enough to almost touch the eaves, and there is a narrow and long gap between the eaves line and the fence to allow ventilation and light. A glass block is inserted between the accident stones to relieve the pressure caused by the high fence. The boundary is made clear with thick thought stones, but the inside and outside are connected slowly and vaguely through glass blocks. During the day, the light comes into the niche yard of Andaecheong, and at night, the light leaks out in a grid pattern.

However, except for this gap between the Daecheong and the northern wall, the exterior space remaining between the U-shaped plane and the site boundary is being used without any gaps. The toilet was long and narrow in the back of the main room, and a front window was opened to the niche yard behind Andaecheong. This window is made of special glass that allows you to see the outside from the bathroom but not the inside. And behind the opposite room, a staircase leading down to the new basement was placed under the cross room and the Daecheong. It is decorated as a music room, and it is the music listening room that the owner cherishes the most. It's a narrow underground space, but it's not stuffy because you go up the stairs looking at the niche.

The space in the back of the kitchen is a multi-purpose room, with a toilet on the south side of the lower room and an interior space on the outer yard of the doorway, with a storage cabinet and desk and a toilet on the other side. A shoe rack was installed on one side of the doorway. As such, the outline of the courtyard is maintained intact, but the space between the U-shaped hanok and the site is utilized as a practical space. Even when viewed from the inside, the space such as storage space and toilet is completed outside the pillar line, keeping the outline of the interior space of the hanok intact.

In addition, the windows are reconfigured in various practical ways, such as glass doors, insect-proof doors, and paper-wrapped doors, so that they can be opened and closed in an appropriate combination according to the season. From the inside, the window frame is thicker inside the column line, but the wires are also inserted between them, so the outline of the interior space is neatly finished.

It was thanks to Min Seo-Hong, the eldest son of this house, who was working at the architectural culture and architects office at the time, that he was able to find the leftover space in every corner of the house and use it one hundred and twenty percent. While directly in charge of designing and supervising Seo Ha-jae, he found niche spaces according to the needs and tastes of each family member and restored them to custom spaces.

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Site Area

Building Area

Building Coverage

Total floor area

Floor Area Ratio

Total Floor

Building Height

Number of Parking


Exterior Finish




Landscape Architect




7, Bukchon-ro 7-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul




119.09m2 (84.66m2 above ground)


1st basement floor, 1st floor



Reinforced Concrete, Wood

Korean-style Windows, Korean-style Tile

, Sago Stone, Plaster Wall



Kunchook-Moonhwa Min Seohong

Kunchook-Moonhwa Min Seohong

Yoon-Jeong Lee

Nao Design


Jaekyung Kim

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