S Mahal by Moon Hoon
Korean architect Moon Hoon designed the S Mahal house in Yangpyeong-gun, South Korea.
Description from Moon Hoon:
When I was a high school student, I had a friend of slight build who always used to carry the Book of Changes with him and was interested in Korean traditional classical music. He was faithful in his religious life, at the same time full of curiosity about the secular world and always paced around restlessly. One day after 20 years, he called me out of the blue. He had in the meantime become a veterinarian and wished to move to India a few years later to lead his own life. After getting together with him for a chat over a drink a couple of times he asked me to design a house where he, his wife and her parents would live together. He wanted me to build an inner court and madang where he could raise animals, as well as a prayer room.
The land he purchased in Daesim-ri, Yangpyeong was a place where water, a rice paddy, a forest and livestock stables were intermingled. Despite a budget that was on the tight side, I was able to create seven inner courts including one for every room plus one in the center, while designing a circulatory balcony where there was sufficient space for the house owner and his cats and dogs to roam about freely. Although it was quite different from India that my friend had been dreaming of, I designed a sonarasi (an autistic interpretation of Varanasi), which was also used as a pool, and completed a prayer room (Ssalon de Sson) where his nostalgia about room salons and his obsession with prayer were mixed.
In order to crate a boundary between the circulatory balcony with the outside, I initially considered hard and cold finishing materials. Due to the low budget, however, we had to improvise and finally opted for a finish with curtains made from waterproof cloth. The waving of the soft walls on a breezy day made it clear to me: the house is truly alive. When I walked around inside the house, the soft walls reacting to my body brought me exquisite feelings.
After a few weeks when a strong wind blew, the curtains waved like the hair of a crazy women and his family who witnessed the scene voiced their discomfort over this unexpected eeriness, unable to stand the confusion and dizziness much longer.
The friend and I express regret over the curtains that became the lost wings.
Visit the Moon Hoon website – here.
Photography by Kim Yong Kwan and Park Chan Woo