Guga Urban Architecture Retrofit and Preserve a Korean Hanok from 1939

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Korean architecture firm, guga Urban Architecture, were responsible for renovating this Hanok in Seodaemun-gu, Seoul. During the renovation process they attempting to preserve as much of the building original features as possible.



The result is a space with the warmth of old-world charm and the convenience of modern day amenities. The two have been blended together in an almost effortless fashion.


The main goal of this work was to reorganize the interior space and adapt it to the client lifestyle while keeping intact the original features of the Hanok built in 1939. – guga Urban


The property is composed of an area measuring 764.24-square-feet (71-square-meters), and is spread out across a single level (spare for some storage and a sleeping area among the loft).



The project was titled Cheonyeon, and works were completed back in 2016. In 2017 the quality of the restoration was recognized by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, who awarded the project 1st place in the National Hanok Competition.

As the result of some historical major events combined with the need to rebuilt in a fast way, the traditional urban housings are disappearing in the centre of Seoul. – guga Urban Architecture


The plan is composed of a number of small rooms separated from one another by a series of sliding doors. The living room is found at the center of the home and is surrounded by a bathroom, study room, dining room, and a courtyard with an outdoor storage area.


There’s also a small library, and three bedrooms, one of which is a master bedroom with an en-suite. The inter-connected rooms allow the occupants to open up, or close off, parts of the home as they see fit.


Photos © Young-chae Park

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.

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