Imagine buying a plot of land with a stellar view for your future home, only to see the construction of multi-family developments on the neighboring sites, threatening to block out the dreamy scenery. That’s exactly what happened to ON Architecture’s client near Gimhae, South Korea. In order to preserve scenic views of the nearby city, while fulfilling the client’s desire to have a small home, the architects devised Tower House, a unique modern structure with an unexpected vertical element in the form of a raised gallery. From there, the homeowner can soak up the precious view, unscathed by nearby developments.
Tower House was designed by ON Architecture and built in 2015. The home sits just outside the city of Gimhae in South Korea’s South Gyeongsang Province, in the southeastern corner of the country’s main island. Designing a small house that could compete with neighboring multi-family dwellings was a challenge, but the architects carefully crafted a plan that would give their client everything they wanted, and possibly more.
To provide a place for cityscape-gazing, the architects devised an observation tower that would hold the home’s living room. Additionally, a connected foyer serves as a vertical gallery where the homeowner can display their ornamental rock collection and potted plants. The resulting foyer is the centerpoint of movement inside the house, linking all the individual rooms.
ON Architecture’s client requested a small house, despite the spacious plot of land they had to work with. In response, the architects created a corresponding outdoor space for each room of the house, thereby stretching the usable area and facilitating a kind of communication between the indoors and the outside world. To achieve this goal, the home’s overall footprint was designed in an X configuration, maximizing the opportunity for “in-between spaces” outdoors that can be used independently. The positioning of the rooms within the house puts the living room and master bedroom on the south-facing wall, ensuring those spaces would be flooded with natural light during the day. Tower House also features a terrace, in front of the living room, inspired by Numaru, a Korean traditional loft floor structure.
Images via ON Architecture