Gimpo-si, South Korea – mmArchitects

Built Area:     149.0 m2
Year Built:     2016
Photographs:    Lim Jaesun

Synode is home to a small family who had a rather unique design brief for their home. They were focused on having ample spaces for their hobbies and for entertaining friends. It’s actually composed of two homes and a recording studio. The two structures share a private inner courtyard.

From the outside, Synode looks like a single unit instead of two.
From the outside, Synode looks like a single unit instead of two.

The design is actually that of two similar-shaped figures put together side by side, or up and down. They look like two puzzle pieces set close together. A small alley serves as the entrance to the courtyard and to two homes entry ways.

The architects carefully addressed the issues of privacy, lighting, and ventilation. Despite the close proximity of the two structures, both gets ample light and air, and privacy is maintained.

Despite the close proximity of the two structures, both are well-lit and well-ventilated.
Despite the close proximity of the two structures, both are well-lit and well-ventilated.

Notes from the Architect:

“The streets are well-laid out and the streets are cleared. Beyond the alleyway, the inner courtyard is the outside, the inside, the communicating space, and the living space. I think I will warmly tune into a city where my personal life and sometimes more intimate alleys are planned. “- mmcac

Synode began in February 2015 with the commissioning of an acoustic specialist who collaborated in designing the Tauron Theater. The architect is two young architectural sound experts, a young couple with a one year old baby and a second generation of solitary men.

They purchased 1 parcel in a residential complex in the Han River New Town and planned to place their work room in the basement with a distance of 5m from the second-generation house and the site boundary. The architect was an architectural sound expert and had experience in basic interior design. He was knowledgeable about construction and construction, so he was able to negotiate mainly with mail and cable. Therefore, mainly plan and design meetings were held in cafes and restaurants near the client ‘s home. From sketches, notebooks, and crappy model boxes to early model diagrams to final models, I remember remembering that I carried them. Nevertheless, the day of the meeting was a good time for the appearance of the owner who liked to look at the model rather than the inconvenient and difficult one. This house was the first house in the complex, and the owner had a desire that good houses would be formed around the building, and he was also very concerned about the underground work room. Also, since the owner is young and the number of residents is small, expectation for yard, garage and rooftop space was bigger than interior space to reside. In particular, the owner of the single furniture was desperately looking for garage and maintenance space for the bike.

There are four major concerns about this project.

1) How do you place a second generation, rather than a family, on a narrow site with a lot of friendship?

2) How do you resolve the privacy of the house because three of the four sides lead to the road and the crosswalk?

3) How do you approach the relationship between the neighborhood and the complex?

4) Second-generation mining

1) The unit

land area is 306㎡ and the coverage rate is 50%, which is not enough for the construction area of ​​the second generation. However, it was not easy to construct two generations, or two generations, in parallel. By reducing the total wall area and volume, energy saving and efficient space could be created, but it was weak in privacy and uncertainty about the division of property in future (this part was important). So I planned to separate the two houses by two floors and worried about the relationship between the generations in the layout.

2) Privacy / Public

The three sides of the site are on the road and the walkway is on the four sides of the road. Moreover, since the middle courtyard was placed in the center, each unit had to deal with the plan because it was in contact with the site boundary. First, the floor of the first floor is 1m higher than the road, and places the seats such as a living room or a restaurant, and elevates the position of the window so that the gaze of the person does not reach the walkway.

3) Ally / Community

blocks and green spaces, zoning and clear boundaries, efficient and systematic sidewalks and driveways. The new city is always well organized. It seems that the apartment is spread out on the ground to make someone live rather than worrying about who lives there. So it is hard to imagine diversity if you look into the earth. This is one of the most worrying aspects of housing design. This house is facing the inside centered on the courtyard without facing the road or the entrance. So visitors have to pass through an alley to see a small yard and two generations of entrances. Of course, in the process the owner can recognize the identity of the accessor through the window of the alley or the terrace on the second floor. Entrances and main openings are placed in the courtyard so visitors will pass through the corridor to the courtyard and see the entrance. This courtyard is a semi-public space, which is the inside, the entrance, and the yard. It is a neighbors’ conversation space and a small alley where children can play. The entrance of the generation sharing the experience through the alley and the courtyard. I wanted to open up another possibility within the residential complex.

4) Lighting

The two generations, each with two layers to the south, are arranged at narrow intervals. Because of the southern generation in summer, it is difficult to natural light in the lower part of the rear generation. This was the part that I was concerned about from the beginning , and I solved it by adjusting the height so that each peak was staggered. Since the actual planning of the rear generation was mainly the main factor, it was simulated as the foundation standard. The place where the shadow of the rear generation is generated is planned as a non – residential space such as a garage and a bathroom, It was also important for the direction of the opening for the mining and the privacy between the generations, which was minimized by the angle, shape and height difference of the window.

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Exterior Views:

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Manchon Hohojae is another home that comes from the same country…



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