Seoul-based architecture firm Moon Hoon revels in its kookiness. For example, when one Googles the firm, the official site has as its subtext the words "MOONHOON THE HAPPY DESTROYER!!!" three times. The official site boasts all the subtlety (and design motifs!) of a comic book, complete with a .gif of "the happy destroyer" hitting a remote control on his head and demolishing a building. It's weird and it doesn't try to make sense, and that, largely, is Moon Hoon's appeal. Its structures, by and large, are only smidgens more sophisticated: its houses have bull horns and red slides and façades like Bart Simpson's haircut. The interiors are entirely fuchsia (inspired by Barbie) or glossy red (inspired by Ferrari). The libraries are also playgrounds. The exteriors look like lollipops. The balconies are draped in fabrics that "wave like the hair of a crazy woman." Need to see it to believe it? Check out eight of the firm's projects, below.
Rock it Suda
↑ Named after the band of the bass guitarist who commissioned it, Rock it Suda is a six-structure vacation house in Gangwon-do, South Korea. Moon Hoon writes that the fantasy chalets, three of which taper off in the back like tadpole tails, offer unusual ways to experience "spatial contraction, expansion, and compression." Now that's nice and all, but when buildings have horns, there's got to be more to the story. Well, apparently each has a theme: one has a "Spain" motif—hence the bull horns—and the others encompass such cohesive thematic ideas as "Barbie, Stealth+Ferrari, cave, and Korean traditional house."
Conan Play House
↑ Conan Play House sits like a squat, sculptural, swirly toy chest in Daejeon, South Korea. Tasked with creating a "skip-floored house like a lollipop," (a theme as we'll see below) Moon Hoon worked with the client, a TV producer and avid collector of mini robots and action figures, to build a contemporary home/funhouse. The floors encircle the house's central core, essentially a wide spiral staircase. Up in the attic, a little red slide—seemingly ubiquitous in new builds—juts from lacquered yellow walls.
↑ Commissioned to build a "playful" home for a large family in Chungbuk, South Korea, Moon Hoon designed an asymmetrical house with a silhouette not unlike Bart Simpson's hair (so in right now). Inside there's a staircase/library/slide (seriously) leading down to the home office. "The first, and the most important thing they wanted in their new home was a place where their kids could play, read and study," the architects write. Before Moon Hoon got the gig, the clients had pitched their ideas for a kid-centric plan to another architect, but didn't like the proposal. "That's when they said that they found about me," the architects write, "who appeared to be more playful, and more creative."
S Mahal House
↑ The client requested a courtyard and a place for his pets, so Moon Hoon, being quite the over-achiever, created a house with seven courtyards and a "circulatory balcony where there was sufficient space for the house owner and his cats and dogs to roam about freely." The structure's other notable feature are its red curtains, which, sadly, have been scrapped. "After a few weeks when a strong wind blew, the curtains waved like the hair of a crazy women and his family who witnessed the scene voiced their discomfort over this unexpected eeriness, unable to stand the confusion and dizziness much longer," writes the architect. "I express regret over the curtains that became the lost wings."
↑ Like the Conan Play House, Lollipop House is a swirly structure (though this one is hot pink and yummy-looking) organized around a central stair. The homeowners encouraged the architects to think outside the box when it came to "living planes," and the result is a seven-floor setup, with a light-filled atrium running tip-to-toe.
↑ Because of "unforeseen events during construction of the adjacent building" (which kind of sounds like there was a measuring or land apportioning mishap), Moon Hoon was called upon to create skinny structure to fill in a narrow site in Seoul. Sai Project is meant to be an "urban greenhouse, designed with the intention for plant growth overtime." What does that mean, exactly? Plastic grating panels hung from red steel cables and a general effect that looks like the waiting area for a ride at Six Flags.
↑ K-Pop Curve is another example of Moon Hoon going a bit off-the-walls when it comes to building composition. It's all a methodical mix of curves and sharp angles. Plus, and this is important, it's got shiny mosaic walls. above.
↑ Compared to bull horns and slides, Roll House is relatively blah, but it just goes to show that even Moon Hoon's most "normal-looking" house is far from the classic silhouette—unless the classic silhouette turned into a snail/half-eaten Fruit By the Foot while we weren't looking.