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Inner Affluence: Yoonseul Building


written by
Jung Sujin
photographed by
Namgoong Sun
materials provided by
edited by
Park Jiyoun

SPACE March 2023 (No. 664)​ 


Aside from the ordinary places that were formerly fashionable but have since faded from view, vestiges of former glory remain in Seongsu-dong. The narrow alleyways, many small lots, and high land prices made it challenging to initiate this large-scale joint development, and so the scale of the street could only just be maintained. It was for this reason that the ‘red brick recommendation’ policy, which was implemented to preserve the neighbourhood’s old scenery, was able to leave its mark. The Yoonseul Building is also finished in red brick—a material that prompts memories for the local grandmothers and neighbourhood kids who gathered around the low wooden benches in the days when everything was changing. 


The Most Efficient Profit-Oriented Building 

Purchased to become a small house with a yard about twenty years ago, the site was eventually reconsidered for a commercialresidential house, taking into account profitability in light of the shift being made in Seongsu-dong. For this project, the privacy of the residents was thought to be more important than the lease revenue, so the planning process began by separating out the circulation paths taken by store customers and residents. It still has its single vertical circulation, but the stairs and elevators have been separated, allowing the exterior stairs to serve as the main circulation path for the shops, whereas the interior elevator serves as the key point in circulation for freight and residents. Thanks to the separated exterior stairs, the stores on each level retain their independence. The building’s total floor area was calculated based on determining the efficiency ratio of the number of parking spaces rather than fulfilling the maximum floor area ratio. In the small-scale, commercial-residential house, where the landlord resides, the most important issue was optimising efficiency and providing a more pleasant living environment rather than maximising the surface area. 


The Yard on Top 

The long-cherished desire to possess a yard was finally met by giving up interior space, and the yard now faces the living room and dining room, offering a wider spatial expression. The mass enclosed in a U-shape protects the residential area from the bustling street while providing the suggestion of an introverted yard. The residential area was configured according to the couple’s retirement plan. The couple, who fear their daily lives may become monotonous with just the two of them spending all their time together, can enjoy their independent areas through divisions and a sense of distance. The house also has a vertical structure for communication by which one can check on the other by simply taking a step forward in their area. Each room is located on the upper level that overlooks the communal area, and the small yards that extend outside each room are neither completely blocked from nor exposed to the bustling street. This means that the energy of the vibrant neighbourhood is pleasantly felt. 










SIE:Architecture (Jung Sujin)

Design team

Jung Wooyoung, Park Junhee, Lim Sangil, Ahn Jungwo


Seoulsup 6-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, Korea


neighbourhood living facility, single house

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B1, 5F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing

brick, low-e triple glass

Interior finishing

paint on gybsum board, tile

Structural engineer


Mechanical and electrical engineer



C&O Engineering & Constructions

Design period

Jan. – Dec. 2019

Construction period

Jan. 2020 – Feb. 2021


Yoon Jongpyo and two others

Landscape design


Funiture designer


Jung Sujin
Jung Sujin studied architecture at Yeungnam University, Hongik University Graduate School and École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Paris-Belleville, becoming an Architect DPLG. She is currently the principal of SIE:Architecture, and is an adjunct professor at Kyung Hee University. Her most celebrated works include Spring House, Hoengseong House, I-House, Big-Mama, Nature, Cave House, Miraenaya Office, Yoonseul Building and Café Piora. She has won wards such as the Gyeonggi Architecture Awards, Aum Duck-Moon Arhcitecture Award, Korean Architecture Award.