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The Hug

Hyunjoon Yoo Architects

written by
Hyunjoon Yoo
photographed by
Kyungsub Shin, Park Youngchae​
materials provided by
Hyunjoon Yoo Architects
edited by
Choi Eunhwa


What Kind of Church is Welcoming?

This building is located between a newly-developed apartment district and a residential area. Instead of a classic church building with a cross on its rooftop, the pastor requested a different kind of church which is open not only to its church members but also to non-churchgoers.

In an earlier era, in Europe, dome structures were interpreted as a psychological space inducing a sense of comfort in those gathered beneath. On the dome’s surface, curved lines conjoin at the middle. When one is in a dome space, one is naturally drawn to the proximity of the central focal point. The curved space embraces its users and provides a sense of spatial solace. Nowadays, however, this kind of spatial experience is hard to find. This is because most buildings nowadays have flat surfaces: not only do flat exteriors, flat roofs, and flat ceilings all fail to provide the aforementioned sense of comfort, but they prompt a feeling of conflict. I wonder if the only uncontroversial domed space left to these times, when we are still attuned to the possible sense of comfort afforded by curved surfaces, is under an umbrella. In today’s society, we need curved and comfortable surfaces, and so we addressed this need with curved surfaces in our design that build a friendly, amiable, and comfortable church.

The principle function of a church is to host Sunday service. While the main service hall is rectangular-shaped in most churches, this arrangement can disrupt concentration on the preacher. Therefore, we decided to place the pulpit in the corner of the rectangular plane so that everyone participating in the service can focus more intently on the preacher.​ 



©Kyungsub Shin

©Kyungsub Shin

©Kyungsub Shin

©Park Youngchae


©Park Youngchae



Hyunjoon Yoo + Hyunjoon Yoo Architects

Design team

Hyunjoon Yoo, Heo Jinsung, Son Insil, et al.


90, Dajeongbuk-ro, Sejong, Korea



Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B3, 4F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio



RC, steel frame

Exterior finishing

exposed concrete, Q-block

Interior finishing

paint, brick, wood plate

Structural engineer

SEUM Consulting

Mechanical engineer

MINSUNG Engineering

Electrical engineer

Electrical Consultant Hyeob-In Co.


JUEUN Constrcution Co.

Design period

Apr. 2016 – Oct. 2016

Construction period

Nov. 2016 – May 2018


Sansung Methodist Church

Landscape design

The Link Landscape Design Group

Hyunjoon Yoo
Hyunjoon Yoo is a professor at Hongik University and the principal of Hyunjoon Yoo Architects. After studying architecture at Harvard, MIT, and Yonsei University, Yoo worked at Richard Meier & Partners Architects. The winner of many local and international awards, such as the Chicago Athenaeum Architecture Awards, German Design Award, Korea Young Architect Award, Kim Swoo Geun Prize Preview Award, and The Good Place Awards Presidential Commendation, Yoo is currently working to convey architectural narratives through books projects, news articles, and other media through light-hearted and familiar allegories.