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The Boulder House is a deft response to a seemingly impossible brief: to create a home for an actor couple in Seoul’s trendy Gangnam neighbourhood that gives the clients maximum privacy. For inspiration, architect Junsang You looked not to the modular towers or manicured residences of the surrounding streetscape but rather to a more ancient form: geology. He clad the home in chunks of Alps Snow, an Italian quartzite with a uniform horizontal pattern; the facade appears, from a distance, like a single rock face. The windows are strategically placed to allow maximum light penetration but minimal exposure. Each sits behind a set of wooden louvres, which were custom-made to conceal the metal hardware. Like a geode, the interiors of this four-storey abode are surprisingly bright. Although the house hardly mimics its surroundings, it somehow fits in: It seems elemental, like it’s been there forever.

Location Seoul, South Korea Firm Junsang You / AtelierJun, South Korea Photo Namgoong Sun

The Boulder House

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2014
WinnerSingle-Family Houses
Location
Nova Scotia
Firm
MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects
2013
People’s ChoiceSingle-Family Houses
Location
Brittany, France
Firm
Lode Architecture, Paris
Team
Arnaud Lacoste and Jérôme Vinçon, with Guillaume Choplain, Hélène Gasnier and Stéphane Saltzmann
2018
Award of MeritSingle-Family Houses
Location
Vanoosh, Iran
Firm
35-51 Architecture Office, Iran