Dicta / Hun Kim, ASYLUM
Attributed to its strict, discriminating and sensitive nature for any newly coming architecture with contemporary terms, the particular historic community as the venue for this project would call for extremely limited and meticulous execution of it.
The area features one of the oldest urban textures and tissues along with its scenic and ambient pedestrian circuit named Bukchon, let alone relatively well-preserved residence complex of traditional styles even in already old part of the metropolitan Seoul. Consistency or conformity rather than harmony or compatibility of building styles assumes to be a definite agenda for any architectural fabrications in the vicinity according to both its almost coercive regulations and everyday civic watch, leaving a sort of 'blend-in' tactic as an only remaining, yet slim option.
A scrutiny at the reality on the other hand might reveal the facts not so much congenial to its significant namesake Bukchon, or general understanding of the district as a pure and precious urban asset. Actual townscapes and street scenes indicate symptoms that it's always on the verge of collision against conflicting values and solicitudes from its encroaching hyper-modern society around or even being gradually permeated into by them to its adulteration. In addition to institutional red-tapes and civic ethics and observations this project had to go through painstaking hours to search for clues to resolve numerable issues entangled in the very site.
Supposed to be involved are such constraints as - severe building codes with not much room to improvise - geographical and topographical blockades of the existing back lanes abutting the lot which allow unpromising visibilities and accessibility - to establish consonant formal gestures to its surroundings - tightness of the area to accommodate ambitions and complexity of the given programs - to preserve the existing conditions of pristine peace and privacy of the neighborhood etc, all of which I casually denominated at the beginning of the design process as dicta to overall reasoning of architecture.
Specifically I recollect every dictum in such a state would function now and then as a seriously interfering constituent to construe any further innovative terms of architecture other than congenial replica of the existing grains of its adjacent, hundreds-years-old texture. Every each stubborn argument from every party tends to fail to converge even on a least plausible solution, causing the materializing process an impasse among those prerequisite design determinants; whether it's form-related aspects or material languages or legitimate programs to shelter or even flexible allocations of exterior spaces, etc. Subsequently the resultant work exhibited here might as well be considered as a 'molded' outcome rather from mostly pre-determined, barely arbitrated conceptual cast than from one's primitive design initiatives or complete, freewheeling authorship. To retain senses of entity or subsistence of the new property from the pedestrian points of view had to be brought up as one of the critical tasks due to visual and traffic disadvantages of the locale. Clinging to the way behind, secondary tissues of the district, circuits through the specific site, configured as some sort of sac, would potentially cause certain psychological and emotional clogging. Instead of contriving measures to improve its escaping recognition or fluency around the site, the project attempts more to grasp and enhance senses of proximity, liaison, and engagement. Tactics to achieve this cognitive substance might include full extension of its 'tentacles' to every possible point of visual interface and horizontally conspicuous arrangement of the program spaces as well as locating an underground void with unexpected depth to which I coined the term, ' emotional excavation'. Another task of critical imposition happened to be incorporating more than six different programs into the relatively constricted framework through combining programs of residence, art gallery, food and beverage, retail, showroom, workshop, etc. Quite abbreviated and direct attachments among those functional components had to be implemented to unravel the possible complexity in this case like a grammatical notion without conjunctive terms, parataxis. Consequent spatial narratives one experiences in this architecture, even subtle and not detectable at the initial stages, could be comparable in a literary sense to those of an omnibus of episodes with no proper and adequate introductions respectively.
[ Hun Kim ]
architect : Hun Kim, ASYLUM STUDIO
location : 34-1 Jae-dong Jongno-gu Seoul Korea
site area : 352.66?
floor area : 201.37?
total floor area : 654.82?
building scope : 2f,b2