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To Seek Balance in Architecture: Ariji Building

Min Workshop

written by
Min Wusik
photographed by
Hwang Hyochel
materials provided by
Min Workshop
edited by
Park Semi


SPACE May 2022 (No. 654)​


Designing a rental building on a site of expensive real estate prices always places demands on the maximum usable area. After focusing on the core design to reduce and divide up the shared area to optimise efficiency as a rental building, what remains is to make the building appeal beginning with its exterior. We used the site’s trapezoid shape as the building’s guiding form. Taking clues from the contoured shape, we contemplated how best to apply this motif on the building exterior skin. The idea that the building structure would appear on the façade had a long gestation period, and it was important to keep a consistent shape throughout to maintain unity. There are a total of four columns adjacent to the ground floor exterior wall. The contour was designed to be as open as possible, and the remaining parts were filled up with the necessary evacuation balcony and air conditioning units for each floor. The façade was designed with this emptied out triangle to envelop the columns through the exterior wall surface. Glass at a maximum span was used for the open contour to highlight the exterior triangular fragments and the details along the horizontal line. The triangular fragments became not just the ornaments that would wrap around the columns but also the key motif that imbues the entire building with a sense of identity. While ‘structural ornamentation’ may sound like an outmoded method, it can also become a useful clue in terms of design methodology for a restricted façade.​






Min Workshop (Min Wusik)

Design team

Lee Hyungjoo, Noh Yeonji, Lee Seunghun


118, Apgujung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea


neighbourhood facility

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B4, 6F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing

Armania gold marble, bronze

Interior finishing

Armania gold marble, granite, tile

Structural engineer

Teogujo Engineering

Mechanical and electrical engineer

PCM, Inc.


C&O, Inc.

Design period

Sep. 2018 – Jan. 2020.

Construction period

Mar. 2020 – Nov. 2021


Hanjo, Inc.

Min Wusik
Min Wusik, after receiving his MArch at Cranbrook Academy of Art in the US and gaining work experience for about a decade, opened his studio named Min Workshop in 2011 at Seochon, Seoul. Instead of following cutting-edge technology and trends, the focus of Min’s work lies in small architecture where he seeks to strike a balance between intuition and universal solution. Of his key works, one notes the Vault House (2017), Café TONN (2019), Diagonal House (2019), Ariji Building (2020), Bahariya (2022), and Durastack Headquarters (2018) for which he was awarded the KIA Award in 2019.