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The darak-darak neighborhood facility by architecture studio THE_SYSTEM LAB is located in a collective housing area near gaerong gtatio, songpa-gu, seoul. the building owner, a salary man with his family, has requested a place where he can guarantee profits for the years to come. his initial vision is one of a pleasant attic with profitable shops and studios on the first floor, as well as offices for rent. however, his sixty square meters site is not spacious enough to accommodate all programs. regardless, the studio has managed to make the most out of it with the limited building area.

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The guiding concept behind THE_SYSTEM LAB‘s project is to create, what the owner terms it, a ‘mini mixed-used building’ with suitable housing for all. as paradigms have changed, the idea of ‘building my house’ — once regarded as an exclusive property of the rich — has become many people’s desire. the difference here is that, rather than demanding lordly mansions, many wish to construct affordable flats. hence, the owner has made far larger spaces than estimated to provide an adequate sense of openness. in addition, the building’s balcony is extended north and south — with a linear diagonal wall placed in the interiors to maximize room areas. in the end, every house has a high ceiling in a gable form and an upper stair not estimated in the gross area, which means that few attics are integrated in each.

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The outdoor entrance includes parking space for five vehicles and a café run by the owner’s wife on the first floor, while second and third levels provide offices for rent and studios. by painting the pilotis, window frames, doors and floor stones with a dark color, the owner intends to get the lower part organized and mimic the image of a building floating in the air. the ceiling facing the south and frontal balconies maximize the sense of space. the owner’s house is located on the last three floors, including the attic. the fourth level consists of interior stairs leading to the fifth floor, an irish style kitchen and family room. a stair case connecting the last two floors and a diagonal wall create a high ceiling of eight meters — vertically connecting each room as a whole house.

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For construction, the architects have used concrete as the main material of the building. to increase exterior insulation performance and prevent water leak, a colored steel sheet is added like a blanket to cover the mass from the end of the roof till the first floor ceiling along the oblique face. finally, it has been difficult to find scenic views within the collective housing area but by allocating balcony spaces excluded in gross estimation and round windows with as many doors possible along with oblique line, the building is well-lit and commands sky view.


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