Studio GAON converts concrete warehouse into a couple’s first home

“We started from the concept of inserting a house within a house, to provide enough area as they needed,”   said the architects, who also built a   timber-framed home raised on stilts over the Korean countryside. “Each of the codes becomes a tree and the trees become a forest so that the information read by the barcode represents the love of the family.”

The couple’s budget stretched only far enough to complete one third of the interior so a great deal of the space remains unaltered – a factor that almost stopped Studio GAON from taking on the project. The balcony is used as a further living room, with the white wall above the ground floor sitting room used as a projection screen. Related story: Studio GAON completes concrete home and library in the South Korean countrysideThe warehouse was built by the bride’s deceased father as an animal feed factory in the 1990s and is named Unforgettable House in his memory. “We could foresee the difficulties of the project and tried to come up with excuses to refuse politely,” said the architects. The lengths of wood are arranged in different configurations across each of the entrances to create areas of patterned glazing, windows and an   opaque doorway. Other areas are painted white “to induce a calm atmosphere” and the floors are laid with shiny white tiles to reflect light, creating a bright space. Three five-metre-high entrances, originally designed to make way for machinery, were blocked down to human-scale openings using pieces of timber. Photography is by Youngchae Park. A dark grey metal-framed staircase with wooden treads leads from the living room to the upper floor where a balcony overlooks the double-height space. The   architects refurbished the reinforced concrete and steel ex-industrial building to create a 250-square-metre home featuring a double-height living space and a facade decorated with a hand-painted mural. Taking inspiration from Korean painter Park Su-geun, they sketched colourful drawings on the wall adjacent to an external staircase, and a painted a series of graphic black and neon-pink trees across the lower level. “We got the design idea from the barcode,” the architects told Dezeen. “But when we saw the photographs of the old concrete warehouse standing inside the rice paddy and field, like magic, it was like hearing the sound of a Pied Piper.”

The architects inserted living space in one end of the property, leaving the project open ended for the couple to add to as their needs and budget grow.

Updated: 20.11.2014 — 12:28