Nowadays, many contemporary families decided to live further apart. But this respected poet and her daughter do not think that way. All of them, each with their own families, love to stay together. They find a site in a cozy yet high-density village where the new and old can coexist. In this unique situation, the Simgok House fulfills the difficult request of connecting large families under one roof while providing privacy for each occupant.

With a very compact footprint, the tight envelope is broken down to set a viewpoint and privacy strategy. Making use of the slip in between, the resulting three volumes are divided into four customized units. Overlapping interior and exterior staircases diversify circulation while maximizing space efficiency. The peninsula land exposes the ground floor, defying privacy and security.

The elevation of the building mass on concentric columns creates a ‘similarity’ with an open view from the inside and a closed view from the outside. The level difference between the neighboring’s Hanok (traditional Korean house) and the adjoining garden is a dynamic spatial experience, a pleasant centerpiece for the family to enjoy without being exposed to unwanted trails.

The mother occupies the unit with closest ground level access, which is twice as high as space creating uncompromising drama. Sister 1’s Unit is for couples with two children: four bedrooms are connected to a corridor that doubles as a common area, allowing for necessary moments of solitude. Sister 2’s unit is for couples with one child: in between communal and interactive work and play spaces, a niche altar serving the family’s Catholic faith. Sister 3’s Unit is for childless couples: a double-height atrium and arched doorway leading to the shared kitchen.

The roof provides a “sky courtyard” for the four families to gather and enjoy the views of the surrounding mountains. The composition of the façade evokes a pareidolic reading: the activity of residents in animating various ‘faces’, accustoming artificial objects.

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