A simple duplex for the extended family

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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While inter-generational living has a long history in traditional Asian households, it fell out of favour for a long time in more westernised societies. But in recent years it has enjoyed resurgence across the globe. As a result, architects have come up with a wider variety of options for extended family living.

Today we will explore a South Korean home that seeks to address these very specific needs. This multi-generational is situated beside a busy road in Suji-gu, one of the biggest cities in South Korea. The architects YungSung Housing have created a simple and contemporary duplex of 212 metres square, spread equally over two separate levels. The two levels are independent and yet share two entranceways. The inhabitants of each level have privacy within their separate homes, and yet, the structure has a cohesive aesthetic and feel. Finally, the structure is made from a lightweight wood frame and has a number of sophisticated finishes that are sure to appeal to all generations. Come with us to explore more. Enjoy!

A unified facade

The architects were clearly adverse to the rather out-dated idea of a main family residence with a few little extensions or offshoots to the design. This is one home that presents a unified front. There is no hint here of the self contained nature of each level in this home. Note here how the single entrance is an important part of presenting this unified front.

Otherwise, the structure is contemporary and slick, but the simple porch and peaked roof offer and inviting, family feel to the home.

A second entrance

From the side view, we can see the second entrance to the far left. Although both levels can be accessed from both entrances, it was a wise idea to add this option. This second entrance lessens the load of the inevitable heavy foot traffic in a home with so many inhabitants.

A space efficient entrance area

The entranceway has been very cleverly created with the simple lowering of the wooden ceiling. This helps create a warm and welcoming entrance area. At the same time, the minimalist design and layout avoids placing too much emphasis on this one entrance area. After all, it's just a passageway for the inhabitants of the second floor.

Expansive living areas

We now come to the main living area on the ground floor. Here we get a sense of the bright, minimalist decor. This area has an open plan layout, but there is some separation of the dining/kitchen area and the living room. It is a home that offers a very careful balance of semi-private and public spaces. Note here how the bright sophisticated feel has been created with the pale, laminate flooring and silk, lustrous grey wallpaper.

Urban views

No matter how much the inhabitants may love inter-generational living, a large home with lots of people can tend to feel a little claustrophobic at times. But here, we have a good sense of the bright, open feel of the home. The outside urban setting is very much a part of the interior design. For peace of mind, the large glass walls have been triple glazed.

A minimalist staircase

The design needed to appeal to a whole variety of individual aesthetic tastes, so the designers have wisely chosen a mute, contemporary look. Here we can see how the very minimalist central staircase has been finished. The laminate wooden floor is highly polished and lends sophistication to the space. As in the other areas of this home, the fixtures are fine, lightweight and do little to add to the visual weight of the space.

Spacious common areas

The essential layout of each level is very similar, so we will finish up our tour in the living room of the second floor. This living room offers a broad and light sense of spaciousness. The lucky inhabitants on this level receive lovely natural views, so this level contains a simple terrace.

If you are interested in family homes, you'll love this Ideabook A Family-Friendly City Home.

What do you think of this multi-generational home? We would love to hear from you in the comments field below.
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