The name of South Korean architect Moon Hoon’s latest project may be titled ‘Simple House’ but in reality, it is anything but. The Seoul-based architect has completed a three-storey home on the country’s Jeju Island that features cantilevered boxes stacked on top of each other and braced together by diagonal reinforced, spider web-inspired, concrete beams.
The Simple House has been specifically designed for the plot on South Korea’s largest island, which is located to the south of the Korean peninsula. Jeju Island is considered a popular holiday destination due to its tropical climate, attractive beaches and lush vegetation, but its location also means it's regularly exposed to changeable weather and strong winds that impact the local architecture. Therefore, Moon Hoon originally proposed a simple, bunker-like property that would respond to the client’s request for a home suited to a private lifestyle.
However, the client changed their mind and asked for a more distinctive design, which prompted Moon Hoon to replace the single storey structure with a far more expressive building. In place of the understated building, the studio created a complex three-storey property that you see today, comprised of rugged board-marked concrete volumes layered vertically and angled to make the most of the available surrounding views.
The opening at the ends of each concrete section are filled with glazing to capture daylight in the property. In response to the need for a unique aesthetic, and to help protect the vulnerable structure from harsh weather, the architects added diagonal braces that connect the corners of the boxes and add another layer of complexity to the visually captivating concrete home.
Inside, the centre of the home is a void containing a twisting timber staircase lined with built-in bookshelves and a skylight at the top of the stairs that allows daylight to filter down through the various levels. The connection between the stairwell and the outdoors is reinforced through the use of wall-length windows and various glazed doors that lead onto the first-floor patio.
Simple House Photography Courtesy of Namgoong Sun