House 3 – Group Y from South Korea Design a Family Home on a Small Lot

This project from South Korea has been titled “House 3”. It’s set in the region of Dongducheon and has been build on a site tha measures just 430.56-square-feet (40-square-meters).


The house was designed by the architecture firm Y Group. They were tasked with creating a home for a small family of three, that would accommodate their needs both as individuals and as a whole.



House 3 was completed in 2017, and is composed of a three-story structure that gives the home a total floor area of 1001.04-square-feet (93-square-meters). The house’s small site is just slightly large than that of a Korean “narrow house”. As such, the architects followed similar design principles to those that are employed for a narrow house.



Those design principles include minimizing the entrance area, maximizing storage space and focusing on lighting and ventilation. Light and ventilation were the first to be addressed. Y Group introduced a openings between floors in order to promote ventilation, lighting and to create different spatial experiences.


Segmentation also plays a large part in the design. In this case, the architects apparently drew inspiration from Jenga (of all things). The parking lot, entrance hall, and courtyards have been split up across they layout, and they themselves in turn help segment the home.


The vaulted ceilings frequently give way to a roof window. The windows allow lots of light to enter during day, but it also acts as a view port for the sky: “In the previous house… everything was blocked… I hoped to show sky to the family. So from now, they can view the sky at the kitchen, living room, the study, and each room of this house.


The interior is composed of cool, calming, neutral colors. There’s nothing out of place, or anything that immediately grabs your attention. The overall effect is that of a slightly boring, but relaxing atmosphere.


For more small houses check out this multi-generational design also from South Korea. Or, this conversion of a rundown security outpost to a tiny home from China. See all small houses.

Photos © Namsun Lee

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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