Houses by 무회건축연구소

The stunning makeover of an old family home

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Seoul, the bustling and brilliantly-lit capital of South Korea is dotted generously with towering skyscrapers which coexist alongside ancient temples and traditional palaces. And the growing trend of embracing modern architecture in the city has affected the renovations of very old private residences too. The house makeover that we're about to witness today is particularly remarkable, since the abode goes from ruins to become bright, airy and stunning, with designs that delight contemporary tastes. Though it previously lay in ruins, the architects at Ashless Institute of Architecture infused the property with a smart, expansive look and cosy detailing throughout. Let’s look a closer look now at how this was accomplished…

Before: a disastrous condition

Prior to renovation, the house was lying dilapidated in the midst of ruin, rubble and filth. Brambles surrounded the home, while a high boundary wall restricted the free influx of sunlight and air. The backyard seemed like a particular nightmare, with signs of neglect rearing their ugly heads here and there.

After: neat, clean and airy

The revamped and streamlined backyard is now a sight to behold, with its neat grounds and carefully planted trees. The lush but well-maintained greenery adds life to the modern and minimalistic space, while the wooden deck acts as an outdoor extension of the living room for open-air entertainment and leisurely activities. The deck comes with flexible and foldable glass and steel doors which can be shunted to the sides to create an open and unhindered feel as you see here. Only the sleek steel frames stay visible, and seem to connect the two parts of the building.

After: unique outdoor privacy

Here’s a peek at how the deck looks when the foldable doors are closed. Rendered in frosted glass, the doors create a cocoon of sorts, shielding the family from direct view when they desire privacy but want to enjoy the pleasures of fresh air and sunshine.

After: a bookish and open living space

The spacious living room with its white walls, wooden flooring and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves on either side proclaim the intense love the owners have for reading. Massive and clear glass doors open up to take you to the deck from the living area, and allow ample sunlight and air to rush in for a lively and cheerful ambiance. The small but verdant plant embedded in the deck is visible from here, and creates a pretty picture.

After: stylish security

The high and forbidding boundary wall that secured the property previously is now gone, and lightweight but sturdy iron railings have now entered the picture for perimeter security. The robust stone and concrete foundation has been retained with some revamping, while the sleek railings now offer more ventilation and sunlight exposure to the abode.

After: making room for nature

Apart from the sleek railings, a part of the house’s yard has been screened from public view with high and stylish brick walls finished in grey paint. These walls exude a quaint rustic and earthy charm, while ensuring the family’s privacy with its cool elegance. Note how the old and proliferating trees of the property have been cared for while building these walls. Apertures in the wall cater to the growth direction of such trees without cramping the aesthetic appeal of the residence.

After: cosy, warm and charming

The sophisticated earthiness of the brick walls has combined with the wooden flooring of the deck to fill the home with a welcoming and cosy feel, which instantly draws attention. Small windows in the walls and overhead openness make sure that cross-ventilation can take place without any hindrance.

It’s inspiring how such an aged and derelict property was converted to a contemporary yet charming home with an eye for openness, airiness and chic simplicity. For more ideas, check out another before & after tour: A dated home gets a miraculous makeover.

What is your favourite part of this impressive transformation?
 Houses by Casas inHAUS

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