L-shaped homes have a long history in Korean architecture. They were often used to separate the Sarangbang—which is a private men-only space, from the rest of the home. Sarangbangs were used for studying, writing poetry, entertaining and various leisure activities. They were usually located opposite the women's area, which I guess was a place of work and not rest!
But there is more to this South Korean home than the Sarangbang. The home covers 192 metres square and is located in an area of medium density. Although there are some lovely views, the home is also surrounded by other, equally large homes. The architects Risyu Building have used the L-shaped layout to create small pockets of privacy and frame the outside world. It's a rather private home, so come with us on a photo tour to explore this interesting L-shaped home. Enjoy!
The exterior is composed of brick and has an asymmetrical iron roof. On the lower left we have the white building mass that forms the Sarangbang. We can see how the L-shaped layout quite naturally separates this from the rest of the home, while still allowing some form of connection with the rest of the household. The L-shaped layout also embraces and shields the outdoor space. It forms a partial boundary to create another living space.
The home has been built on a steep incline. The area has been levelled with some lovely natural stone and the natural material softens the potential visual heaviness of such a large structure. From this angle, we can also see the unusual variety of windows. These have been used to pick and choose points of interest and frame some lovely views. Take note of the small balcony we will explore a little later.
The natural benefits of the location are finally revealed here. The forest backdrop offers a great change to integrate the calming effects of nature into the home. This angle is at a stark contrast from the earlier photos where we saw the large structures of the neighbours' homes. We love how the tree has been positioned to create privacy as well.
This is the balcony we saw earlier. An L-shaped layout has the potential to provide all sorts of little openings that allow the designers to pick and choose the best views. This is an obvious benefit in an urban setting with partial views. This area is a little retreat all in itself. The walls of the balcony have been covered in rich timber to accentuate the natural ambience and the ceiling is made from glass.
The ground floor has these small openings with a lot of privacy when you consider the surroundings. They have been furnished with low, broad bench-style seats made from timber. These would be perfect for sprawling out, reading and enjoying the sunshine. These are low-key outdoor areas and this is a home really built for easy, low-maintenance living.
Sarangbangs are used for family entertaining and receiving guests these days. The main benefit is that these spaces are seen as separate from the busyness of the rest of the home. Here we can see how private the room feels with its own little courtyard and simple garden.
The kitchen has been designed to quietly reflect the L-shape of the larger building. This layout provides a good opportunity to create a dining area with a view of the outdoor areas. The decor is simple, modern and the home has a low-key natural feel.
The bedroom is rather large with an interesting ceiling. But the designers have resisted the temptation to install large windows on both sides. Instead, we have this narrow high window to our left. It allows for a view of the world outside, without sacrificing any of the occupants' privacy. On the right-hand side just out of view, we have a larger window that opens onto the courtyard.
If you're a fan of Korean architecture, you'll love A Korean Home with Nordic Flair. We hope you enjoyed the tour!