The Blooming House with Wild Flowers by Studio GAON

This small house in Seoul, South Korea, has been completed by one of my favorite architecture firms, Studio GAON. The building is set among the “old town” of Seoul, and involved the removal of an existing dwelling.


Blooming House with Wild Flowers - Studio GAON - Exterior - Humble Homes

The project has been dubbed “Blooming House with Wild Flowers”. It’s set on a site measuring 818 square feet (76 square meters) with the house itself occupying an area of just 506 square feet (47 square meters). According to the architects, the original property was so unstable that “even a flick of a finger could collapse it.”


Blooming House with Wild Flowers - Studio GAON - Landing - Humble Homes

Early attempts to renovate the existing building made it clear that demolishing and replacing it would be easier. It also allowed the designers to ensure the property met the local building requirements. Codes stipulated that the new building could have an area no larger than 248 square feet (23 square meters), and contain no more than two floors.


Blooming House with Wild Flowers - Studio GAON - Kitchen - Humble Homes

Despite what some would consider to be stifling requirements, Studio GAON managed to create a functional and airy home. The living areas are spread over two floors, a loft, and a balcony. The first floor contains the living room, a toilet, the dining area, and the kitchen.

Blooming House with Wild Flowers - Studio GAON - Living Room - Humble Homes

The second floor features the master bedroom, a bathroom, and a study nook. The loft can be used for storage, or as a second bedroom. A door from the loft leads out to the balcony, which also has a few external storage spaces. In some areas floor-to-ceiling cabinetry has been used to create a home library.

Blooming House with Wild Flowers - Studio GAON - Floor Plans - Humble Homes

For more small houses check out this shoemakers workshop that gets converted into a small family home. Or, this house that uses glass partitions to promote natural lighting. See all small houses.

Via ArchDaily
Photos: Youngchae 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.

  1. A toilet in the kitchen does not seem at all hygienic. An easy–albeit unconventional–solution would be to have access to the ground floor bathroom achieved through an exterior door.

  2. AJ, the toilet is not IN the kitchen. It is off the kitchen. It even has, shock horror, a door to separate it from the kitchen. So, not at all unhygienic.

  3. Paul, It is a good bet that there is not negative pressure between the kitchen and the toilet. The exterior door is an elegant though somewhat unconventional solution to odors and aerosolized bacteria generated with each flush.

    J Appl Microbiol. 2005;99(2):339-47.
    The potential spread of infection caused by aerosol contamination of surfaces after flushing a domestic toilet.
    Barker J1, Jones MV.
    Author information
    To determine the level of aerosol formation and fallout within a toilet cubicle after flushing a toilet contaminated with indicator organisms at levels required to mimic pathogen shedding during infectious diarrhoea.
    A semisolid agar carrier containing either Serratia marcesens or MS2 bacteriophage was used to contaminate the sidewalls and bowl water of a domestic toilet to mimic the effects of soiling after an episode of acute diarrhoea. Viable counts were used to compare the numbers of Serratia adhering to the porcelain surfaces and those present in the bowl water before and after flushing the toilet. Air sampling and settle plates were used to determine the presence of bacteria or virus-laden aerosols within the toilet cubicle. After seeding there was a high level of contamination on the porcelain surfaces both under the rim and on the sides of the bowl. After a single flush there was a reduction of 2.0-3.0 log cycles cm(-2) for surface attached organisms. The number of micro-organisms in the bowl water was reduced by 2.0-3.0 log cycles ml(-1) after the first flush and following a second flush, a further reduction of c. 2.0 log cycles ml(-1) was achieved. Micro-organisms in the air were at the highest level immediately after the first flush (mean values, 1370 CFU m(-3) for Serratia and 2420 PFU m(-3) for MS2 page). Sequential flushing resulted in further distribution of micro-organisms into the air although the numbers declined after each flush. Serratia adhering to the sidewalls, as well as free-floating organisms in the toilet water, were responsible for the formation of bacterial aerosols.
    Although a single flush reduced the level of micro-organisms in the toilet bowl water when contaminated at concentrations reflecting pathogen shedding, large numbers of micro-organisms persisted on the toilet bowl surface and in the bowl water which were disseminated into the air by further flushes.
    Many individuals may be unaware of the risk of air-borne dissemination of microbes when flushing the toilet and the consequent surface contamination that may spread infection within the household, via direct surface-to-hand-to mouth contact. Some enteric viruses could persist in the air after toilet flushing and infection may be acquired after inhalation and swallowing.