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One plot, four architects, four stunning homes!

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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With a problematic and often challenging economic climate, it is becoming more and more difficult to secure loans to purchase a family home. Not only that, but once the loan is secured, it is often arduous to service the burdensome repayments. Within Korea, big cities are becoming increasingly populated, and with this rising number of citizens comes increased land prices, and an unrelenting demand for affordable and sustainable housing. With land and freestanding houses an unobtainable commodity for most average individuals or households, more people are being driven into narrow high-rise living, void of space and freedom. Korean people often dream of having a house with a separate garden, and their own piece of earth, which is what brings us to today's interesting project.  Located in Geumjeong District, a district in north central Busan, the architectural group Rieuldorang Atelier has come up with a novel solution to this problem. 

One plot of land was chosen, with four architects each commissioned to design a separate freestanding home. The result is a social space that maximises a sense of community, along with contemporary and unique dwellings. If you'd like to learn more, check out the images below. 

The concept

Starting with a 718 square metre plot, the architects set about designing the individual abodes. With a modest budget, similar to the price of a small city apartment, the houses were designed and costed. The main concern was to design homes that each had their own character, and evoked a sense of their occupant's desires and domestic needs. Although the dwellings were cost-effective, they avoided using cheap materials, and instead implemented smart design to create original and unique homes. 

Finally, the position of the houses upon the plot was of great concern. They needed to be tailored to suit the families that would eventually inhabit them, but also ensure a sense of community. A variety of playgrounds were created for children to socialise together, imparting a true sense of unity and togetherness. 

The first house

The first home encompasses a building area of 69 square metres, with a total area of 111 square metres. It is built with a structural timber frame, and cement siding is seen on the façade. One of the most noticeable elements of this landscape shaped dwelling, it the external 'shell' that sits around the home. There is a walkway to one side of the home, with timber decked entertaining space. 

Underneath and within this frame, there is cedar siding that contrasts the cement on the opposing side. This extra wall that is added to the residence creates a psychological extension of the actual house, adding to the spacious ambience of the property. 

The second house

The second house, Carissa, is quite different from the first, and features a basalt tile façade. Again a timber frame was used to construct this 122 square metre dwelling. The design is extremely cohesive, and features interesting angles and light-filled spaces. 

For the client, the most important room was the bathroom, a place of rest, relaxation, and renewal. We will take a look at this unbelievably stylish room below. A sloped ceiling was implemented to allow the roof lights within the property, and glazing was seen as an important factor for the overall design of the house. 

The bathroom interior

Within the bathroom space, we truly get an insight into why this room was so important to the owner. The space is a refuge. A haven away from the bustling busyness of the outside world. It is a getaway, and perfectly designed to maximise comfort, and evoke a sense of restfulness. 

The roof light brings a huge volume of light into the windowless space, while the tub sits centre stage, with a spa-like quality and ambience. 

The third house

As we move on to the next home, we are again greeted by an individual and unique dwelling. The smallest of the homes, this abode is a comfortable 98 square metres, and again utilises a timber frame, with cement siding. 

When designing this dwelling, the architects had several challenging moments. Firstly the client wished to include a footbridge within the house, however budget restrictions meant that another method of utilising the sloping interior floor would need to be sought. Instead of a bridge, the designers introduced an alternative method. A sloping floor system was produced, with three steps aiming to replace elements of the original bridge design. The overall completed house is intriguing, and thoroughly fascinating. 

The fourth house

As we come to the final house, we see another compelling design. The shapes and forms of this dwelling was one of its defining factors, as the client had very specific ideas as to its overall appearance. The house is 113 square metres, and utilises a timber frame, with both cement and cedar siding. 

At the direction of the client, the house had to be a soft and welcoming ambience, replete with areas to allow deep thinking. Living spaces needed to be open plan, with flexibility and versatility. Essentially, the home had to function in a way that embraced family, as well as sophistication. 

The stylish interior

For one final look at the inside of the fourth house, we see how the different interior levels create interest and dialogue between the occupants and the structure. Underneath the stair space there is an area for storage of reading material, effortlessly combined into the dwelling. The inside of this home is welcoming and warm, it creates a feeling of effortless serenity, and is ideal for those wanting a versatile yet stylish abode. 

If you liked that project, and would like to continue reading, check out our other Ideabook: Marvelous Renovation of a 1920s Ruin

Which house is your favourite? We'd love to hear what your thought about this project in the comments below!
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