A Dream Home: House of A Novelist Is A Writer’s Safe Haven
Everyone has their interpretation of a home. No matter what home means to someone, however, there is one common denominator. A home is a place where one should feel safe from the outside. Many have already imagined what their home would be like. An architect can help them realize their dream homes.
100A Associates shares their experience when they designed the “House of a Novelist.” As the name suggests, the residence is for a client who is a writer. Like other architects, the firm wants to turn its client’s dream home into a reality. In this project, the architect had to work with 29.8 square meters of land at the end of the narrow street of Banghaw-Dong, which is surrounded by buildings that likely have eventful stories.
The architect knows this project will be challenging, given the surroundings of the plot. But that didn’t stop them. “Perhaps we decided to start this project to enjoy the pleasure. A new challenge always makes us excited, but we should also consider realities,” explains the architect.
The client had shown them his dream home. They had to find a way to realize that dream while incorporating their ideas and expertise to design a place where the client will feel at home. The architect and the client have talked a lot and come through many difficulties together.
“Despite this, the reason why we don’t feel easy to define ‘him’ with a typical disposition is not that we don’t understand ‘his’ disposition, but the emotion we’re now feeling from him is real ‘himself’,” says 100A Associates.
The client is heavily involved in this project because this house is his story. According to the architect, the client sent them a long letter that includes his thoughts and personal disposition toward this house. This reminds them that he is a novelist.
“He introduced himself as a child of a complex character who follows love and is full of curiosity, but careful in attitude, emotional, and sensitive, and also deliberate and persistent, but very shy and has a lot of worries and there were his earnest and detailed wishes, asking us to make a castle within where the true himself can hide, in the letter,” shares the architect.
This description has inspired them to design a small castle that protects him from the outside. The architect also worked with the client’s wish to make the house a resting place to calm down his tired body and mind.
The small castle is defined with a rough and firm texture and vertical format. The facade also features fairy-tale colors in harmony with the buildings. The architect explains the choice of colors resembles him, “an adult in appearance but there’s a child inside of him.”
The castle has four stories and each one is barely over 9.9 square meters. 100A Associates designed the building to have the minimum function, but still work well. They also made rich stories in the small space beyond the function.
The architect intended to use even a tiny space and also tried not to make it unnatural. They did not use the window only as a tool for expansion. The characteristic of the space suggests dividing and arranging the light needed and the one giving calm. This setting allows the client to make a choice of hiding or being seen anywhere.
The fourth floor, in particular, is a dining room where he spends most of his time and a working space where he’s able to concentrate. This lets him feel the silence, calmness, and even a transcendental feeling of reality through the light coming from the skylight.
Photos by Jae Yoon Kim