Every building site has challenges, but for this project in Seoul’s Sinseol-dong neighborhood, the restrictions were particularly tricky: an entirely new building wasn’t allowed, additions could only be half the size of the existing structure, and the current building was a historic wood-frame home—a traditional hanok—badly in need of restoration and repair.
Seoul-based CoRe Architects came up with a novel solution for this restrictive site: build a modern second story floating on steel columns above the existing historic home.
The hanok itself was renovated and restored, with a combination of traditional design elements, such as exposed wooden beams and a tiled roof, with an open plan and concrete floors. A new staircase at the back of the building provides access to the addition.
Resting on seven steel pillars, the new addition is starkly modern, creating an eye-catching contrast with the older building below. The architects took care to visually knit the two structures together—the steel columns and white walls of the upper floor echo the wooden columns and white walls of the lower, and the addition’s curved roofline is a direct reference to the traditional one.
The result is an artful balance of old and new.