26.11.2015

Hyunam (A Black Cottage)

Once I designed a small house named Moheon and a beautiful garden named Sayawon in Daegu, Korea for a person who wanted to enjoy a new life in a new space. Later, he began to build a wild botanical garden in a 99.2ha-wide mountain area in Gunui, Korea.

He transplanted and cut trees for a long time, observing the change of the nature and wanted to build a small house to live there. The site is located in the center of the mountain where you can see nothing but the mountain and the sky. It faces the west, surely giving you a chance to see the sun going down over the reservoir and giving warmth in the winter season along the path of the sun.

He hoped that his botanical garden would be a place for contemplation. This is why he made 5 small artificial gardens along the access road that passes through the dense fir tree forest. These are all small but the harmony between the slopes and planes of these gardens will be a trigger for meditation.

At the end of the gardens, you will see a corten steel structure with a long straight slope. On the upper part of this structure, you will see an artificial hill, while in the lower part, you will see the bottom of a valley. You have no idea on what you will see over the gate and enter there, and then you will find yourself in a deep embrace of the majestic natural landscape. No architectural concept exists there, only you and the nature in complete silence.

If you are fortunately there when at sunset, you will see the beautiful red color of it. When you climb on the hill and sit down on a cold corten chair in the grass forest, you will feel like you are a part of the nature. This is a completely solitary moment, the moment for meditation. This is why he named it Hyunam, which means a black and shady cottage.

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When you see this house at a distance, you will find it protruded from the ground as if it has just come out of the underground into the world after waiting a long time. That is why this house remains still with incompleteness.

Written by Seung H-Sang

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