HANOK: adaptation / preservation / extension

An excerpt of a study completed in Seoul into the methods through which hanoks have been adapted and preserved. The study explores how uses of hanoks have changed to meet the needs of modern dwellers and other influencers of structural adaptation.

/ adaptation /

Hanok Dub by Motoelastico is a home for a family with contemporary dwelling needs where real living occurs. Modern amenities have thus been added to facilitate contemporary living including a western kitchen, bathrooms, basement space and modern ondol system. These new functions envelope the central traditional structure, 

acting almost as a protective wrapping.

The hanok is an ongoing transformation, 

designed to change and evolve with the 

family residing in it. As their needs and living habits change, the house changes with them. This evolving nature and freedom within the home creates a lively environment bursting with activity and movement. 

interactions between old and new

movement through the home

/ preservation /

David Kilburn’s hanok is one of the rare examples of a hanok that has authentically preserved the entirety of its structure. Kilburn aims to preserve his hanok’s original form and function, making only minor alterations to his hanok using traditional techniques and materials. He believes that this is an authentic method of preservation that enables his hanok to remain relevant today as a place to observe the traditional culture of Korea that cannot be legitimately achieved in many of the adapted dwellings. 

Minor alterations to the hanok have occurred; where the kitchen once existed is now a bathroom, in the inner courtyard, a long narrow wooden veranda was constructed to link the inner and outer quarters and a foot has been added to the central living area to extend the space. These alterations have been made using traditional materials, Kilburn going to great lengths to accumulate red pine for the veranda.

/ extension /

Urban hanoks are traditionally modest single floor dwellings, their design having been informed by a less consumer driven society. As Korean society has evolved and the population has become accustomed to modern accommodation with an increased allowance for consumer goods, what was once considered ample space in a hanok is hanok is now seen as a scarcity. 

CoRE architects chose to reinterpret the 

common hanok extension in Sinseoul-dong. CoRE was committed to preserving the structure of the existing hanok, barely altering its shell and instead constructing a new volume that could in effect, float above the hanok to create harmony and balance. The new volume, while slightly extending the ground level, exists predominantly above the hanok, enabling the structures to appear as separate entities. This respects the 

traditional architecture while each volume enhances and complements the other.

/ house timelines /

hanok dub . motoelastico

kahoidong . david kilburn

sinseoul-dong hanok . CoRE architects

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