SITE: Urban Villas in the Heart of Seoul: 219 Gardens is a private enclave that combines the best aspects of urban and country living. Taking advantage of the site’s central location, we created a walled community organized around a series of linear courtyards for quiet strolling and contemplation.
Garden Terraces: Following the natural contours of the site sloping north to south, four slender residential bars are placed on each of the terraces, oriented to take advantage of favorable north/south sunlight.
Retail Buffer/Borrowed Views: The masonry wall that defines the perimeter of traditional Korean palace precincts is re-conceived of as a retail buffer that screens out the sights and sounds of the urban foreground and allows residents to receive “borrowed views” of the mountains beyond. The stacked massing creates a pattern of sky-garden voids providing uninterrupted north-south view corridors from one end of the site to the other.
Club Courts: Rather than create one rarely used facility, our scheme distributes the communal amenities into four Club Courts located at the base of each housing block. These two-story facilities are organized around a themed, landscaped courtyard that links the Meander level with the underground parking. Each of the four Club Courts are connected by the Diagonal, a glazed arcade that allows residents to pass from the southeast Main Gate to the northwest retail atrium.
LIFESTYLE: Villas in the sky Unlike typical high-rises densely packed with anonymous apartments, 219 Gardens treats each home as a legible building block stacked in various combinations.
Villa Types: The 3 villa types – penthouse, sky terrace, and meadow -- possess south/north facing exposures and generous private gardens creating private villas in the sky. This is accomplished by 3 design features: the building’s stepped profile within the zoning envelope, two-story sky garden voids, and ground-level sunken yards.
Blending Indoor/Outdoor, Man-made/Natural: 219 Gardens features porous indoor/outdoor living spaces that combine natural and man-made materials. At the scale of the building, the south-facing limestone and glass facade contrasts with the north-facing wood privacy screens creating an animated pattern as residents stroll up and down the Meander along the landscaped terraces. At the scale of the unit, floor plans feature operable window walls allowing spaces to flow from inside out to the landscaped sky gardens.