The site: Seoguipo is the second largest and more laid-back city of Jeju Island. There are many natural beauty spots enhanced by balmy weather. The site is on a slight hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean in the distance and Halla mountain as the backdrop. It is part of a newly developed grid system for residence plots.
The client: When we signed the contract for the design, the client was a single neurosurgeon with a fiancé. He knew what he wanted, asking for bold angular shapes with a distinct muscular style. He also had a plan for his future family with 3 children and asked me to design 3 bedrooms for the children with a master bedroom for the couple. The space program in the end became a house with 8rooms (4 bedrooms, 1 kitchen dinning, 1living, 1library/party room)
The Wave concept: Often, when I design a project, I do ponder about the project after visiting the site. I do let my mind work spontaneously or at times I doodle freely without too many intentions. When the right moment is met with the creative mind, some kind of idea, a word, or an image comes to mind. The house looking at the Pacific Ocean suddenly rose as a large counter wave looking at the ocean. The juggling and stacking of 8 different sized rooms within the phantom wave initiated.
The ascending 8 rooms: The angled site gave a very clear view to the front-facing south. All 8 rooms could have views and ample sunlight. The house entrance is at the northern side with a small basalt rock erected fence wall bringing a sense of entry place-ness and some protection from the notorious Jeju wind. The foyer does not give any visual key to the main space unless you make a turn and ascend a few steps. The living space is a double-height space with an angled column supporting the library on the 4th floor. A few more steps up take you to the kitchen/dining area and when you move through more steps, you are led to one of the future kid’s rooms. This ascending movement through steps and ramps continues all the way to the top, where there is the library with a great view of the Pacific Ocean. The south-north axis library has step seats to the northern side which then provides a door to the balcony, where Halla mountain view is possible. The solidly stacked wave gesture is finalized.
Final word: The wood plank imprinted exposed concrete has been a staple material for many of my projects in Jeju Island because it seems to go well with harsh windy weather and abundant basalt rocks. It is as though the new building has been standing there for a long time.