Creative House – A Marvellous Mix of Old and New by Z_Lab

Set in Seoul, South Korea, this tiny house is the second project by local architecture studio Z_Lab to turn a traditional Korean-style building into a modern home. The project has been titled Creative House by the architects, and features a blend of traditional Korean features with contemporary furnishings.


Creative House - Z_Lab - South Korea - Courtyard - Humble Homes

The redevelopment of Creative House was completed back in 2013. It contains a total of 312 square feet (29 square meters) that’s divided between internal living areas and a sheltered exterior courtyard. The building was originally constructed back in 1937 and was in a state of disrepair after being left dormant for several years.


Creative House - Z_Lab - South Korea - Kitchen - Humble Homes

During the redesign the roof had to be reinstated, along with several supporting columns. They were able to save much of the original structure, allowing it to maintain its sense of history and tradition. The old woodwork now sits quite well alongside the contemporary furnishings.


Creative House - Z_Lab - South Korea - Living Room - Humble Homes

Approximately one-quarter of the floor plan is dedicated to the courtyard. It’s a sheltered space with some greenery and a traditional Korean-style, open-air bath. The internal living areas all look out towards the courtyard, allowing the space receive plenty of natural light, while also maintaining privacy in a very built up area.

Creative House - Z_Lab - South Korea - Bedroom - Humble Homes

The interior layout is split into three main rooms: a kitchen with a dining area, a living room and a bedroom with a bathroom. The kitchen is a simple set-up, without any bells and whistles. This theme of simplicity continues throughout the other living areas and is key to creating a comfortable living environment.

Creative House - Z_Lab - South Korea - Floor Plan - Humble Homes

Storage is provided for in the form of large wall units which double up as feature shelving as well as closets and drawers for clothing. According to the architects the house is now available to rent for both foreigners and locals alike.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Kim Jae Kyeong

Niall Burke

Structural engineer by day, tiny house designer by night. Niall has a keen interest in small spaces, green design, and sustainability. He started developing Humble Homes while studying for his masters degree in engineering. He is the founder and managing editor of Humble Homes.

  1. it would be refreshing to know that the owners created a place to enhance their living experience instead of enriching their bank accounts.

  2. Oh come on. The house was in a state of disrepair. It could have been torn down and a modern monstrosity could have been built in its place.

    But no, the (new?) owners decided to save and reconstruct. Perhaps they already have their own home (probably) and saw this as an opportunity to save an historical building with a sympathetic makeover?

    Question: Do you make similar comments regarding people who build tiny homes and rent them out on airbnb?

    I also find an amusing juxtaposition between your name and your point of view on the economics of this place.

  3. The Creative House is a great plan. I love the courtyard and the fact that living revolves around the courtyard plus bedroom and bath are on main level! Thank you for this gorgeous home. Doris Horne