© Yousub Song

Sikmul // Desi Architects

Seoul, South Korea

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Four decaying traditional Korean houses joined and turned into multi-purpose spaceSeoul based studio desi_architects havecreated an art space/café bar by joining and renovating four aging traditional Korean houses in the heart ofSeoul, South Korea.Jongno district has been the center of Seoul for over 600 years. It plays an important role as home tonumber of cultural, educational and political institutions.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

It is also a neighborhood which has not yet been
completely dominated by modern high-rise buildings, as is the case in many other parts of the city. Jongnois full of tiny, picturesque alleys and traditional Korean houses – hanoks. This makes it a great place for
Seoulites to find an oasis of peace and quiet in the crowded bustling capital.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

Unfortunately, many hanoks inthe area have not been inhabited for years. Without maintenence, these historical buildings are slowly fallinginto disrepair.desi_architects has completed a project in which four adjacent hanoks were converted into one mutlipurposespace called ‘Sikmul’, which gives a contemporary twist to the character and atmosphere oftraditional Korean architecture and breathes new life into the area.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

Now Sikmul is a vivid open art space and
café bar that plays host to numerous cultural events and offers a unique gathering spot in Seoul.
The conversion of the decrepit hanoks into a modern art space was a multi-step process. First, some of thewalls were torn down in order to join the buildings and create a wider space.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

The roof was then completelyremoved and replaced with transparent glass, which allowed for natural light and additional volume.Individual roof tiles were reused to construct new walls for an original look that preserved the warm aura ofthe old traditional buildings.The main façade of the building was constructed with plexiglass. The remains of old walls, however, werepreserved inside and after dusk, when the interior lights are turned on, their silhouette can be seen from theoutside.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

This effect simultaneously projects a picture of both the past and present appearance of thebuilding.The elevated seating area on one side of the building is opened to the street, allowing guests to enjoy anoutdoor atmosphere and a feeling of openness and connection with the surrounding neighborhood.Through the Sikmul project, the desi_architects team wanted to produce a space that would benefit the areawith original design which remains fresh and innovative without negating the charm and beauty oftraditional Korean architecture.Photography:Worlderful PhotographyYousub Songhttp://www.worlderful.com.

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

© Yousub Song

Sikmul Gallery

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