Seosaeng Courtyard House

Seosaeng Courtyard House

A family home for multi-generational living built into a steep natural hillside overlooking the coast - split over three volumes surrounding a central courtyard.

Private Client
200 m2
Project dates
February 2018 – December 2019 (Design & Procurement) April 2020 – September 2022 (Construction) September 2022 (Completion)
Services provided
Full Service (RIBA St1-6)
Design team
  • Studio Weave (Architect)

  • Architects Office DOMA (Executive Architect)

  • Eun Structure (Structural Engineer)

  • Jung-In Civil Structure (Civil Engineer)

  • Kum-Gang DNS (Mechanical &Electrical Engineer)

  • Garden & Forest (Horticulture)

  • Koreasoltech (Contractor)

Project type
Use type

Studio Weave were commissioned to design a multi-generational family home set within a clifftop on South Korea’s eastern peninsula: Seoseang House Studio Weave’s approach to contemporary craft in architecture, with Korean tradition. Seoseang is on the very eastern edge of the Korean peninsula, and the project site enjoys a 180 degree panorama over the East Sea - the spot where the sun comes up first in Korea.

The building form and internal plan were both developed to closely relate to the natural landscape and views: with spaces stepping up the hillside to maximise views to the sea through the building from most rooms. The family’s aspirations for accommodating both communal activities with privacy were balanced through careful articulation of physical separations, connected by occasional moments of translucency through key spaces.

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The house features three rectangular forms to create a c-shape floor plan that cradles a partially enclosed courtyard garden; split across three terrace levels rising a metre at a time, closely following the natural slope – retained in the local vernacular of amassed river boulders. Dark volcanic stepping stones navigate the courtyards, spaced to be reclaimed by vegetation and settle into the landscape over time. Each volume is draped in a facade of fluted pink-tinted precast concrete tiles, which borrow their tone from the surrounding soil: glowing with red undertones in the sunrise, and casting shadows across themselves as it sets.

Internally, the spatial sequence is structured around a stepped central axis from which all rooms are accessed, and connected to the central courtyard. The stepped section ensures all rooms enjoy unique views of the central courtyard and ocean – without overlooking one another. Acting as a pivot point, the central courtyard is both a contemporary and deeply traditional feature that supports the family’s daily lifestyle. The flexibility of the floor plan allows the family to accommodate friends and family for festivities; layers of privacy and translucency make this compatible with multi-generational living.

The materials and textures combine contemporary construction methods with Korean traditions. The luxurious richly-textured and hard-wearing grey terrazzo flooring featuring underfloor heating, and exposed concrete structure is complemented with joinery and storage throughout formed in Lauran ply - a warm and tactile, cost effective, Asian timber synonymous with Korean architecture.

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