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Loose and yet Precise: GUBO Architects + Hong Jihak: NNHN73

GUBO Architects + Hong Jihak

written by
Cho Yoonhee, Hong Jihak
photographed by
texture on texture
materials provided by
GUBO Architects
edited by
Bang Yukyung

SPACE April 2024 (No. 677) 



On Creating a Corner of Our City

NNHN73 is located on a corner site at the intersection of back roads in Gangnam’s mega-block. The neighbourhood has seen a boom in new construction in recent years following the Coronavirus Disease-19 pandemic, filled with a series of buildings with distinct design intentions. The project sparked our interest in the way it dealt with corners of buildings and our city. The context of the neighbourhood with its spectacular buildings competing in the building rental market led us to adopt a strategy of minimal openings. The outstanding white façade has been articulated to be read as a continuous plane along the corners. We wanted the white walls, finished with the Sto outside insulation system, to offer the experience – in the midst of buildings finished with various materials – of the moment one takes a breath. The lower part is finished with rough stonecutting to create a distinct horizontal base, and the white wall body of repeated distinct geometry is placed on top of it makes its presence felt. Skylights were visually hidden as much as possible so that the white wall could be fully revealed.




The building volume enclosed by white walls creates another corner within the site. The intention is for functionality, which stems from the recent trend in the rental market of neighbourhood living facilities where terraces, which provide private outdoor space, are directly linked to the value of a building. To create a small, independent terrace on each floor of NNHN73, the corners of the building are folded inward to create concave corners. The inwardly folded sides are finished with small green tiles to contrast with the white walls that meet the urban street. The Sto finish and the tile finish have been concealed with joint members that reveal the separation between materials, creating an abrupt juxtaposition between two walls with different intentions, to be read as if part of the building has been cut away and hollowed out. The sides of building’s vertical circulation and daylight level are concentrated on the south side of the site which is not visible from the corners. The staircase had to be located on the south side of the building, so steel framing was used to avoid a heavy concrete structure. The steel staircase of woven lightweight linear members leaves many sections open and allows light to penetrate each floor. 


You can see more information on the SPACE No. April (2024).


Cho Yoonhee (GUBO Architects) + Hong Jihak (Chun

Design team

Cho Eunhye, Cho Bongjun, Lim Euihyun


Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea


neighbourhood living facility

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B2, 5F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio



RC, steel frame

Exterior finishing


Interior finishing

exposed concrete, concrete polishing

Structural engineer

GON Structural Engineers

Mechanical engineer


Electrical engineer

MK Chunghyo


LAAU Group Corp.

Design period

Dec. 2021 – July 2022

Construction period

Oct. 2022 – Feb. 2024

Hong Jihak
Hong Jihak, after periods of research and building his career at SAC International, HAEAHN Architecture, and Center for Advanced Urbanism (CAU) at Boston, U.S., co-founded GUBO Architects in 2015. Hong studied architectural urbanism at MIT and received his PhD on theory of architectural history at Seoul National University. Hong is currently working as an associate professor in the department of architecture at Chungnam National University.
Cho Yoonhee
Cho Yoonhee has been working in architecture design since she co-founded GUBO Architects in 2015. After graduating from the department of architecture at Seoul National University and MIT, Cho built her career at IROJE architects & planners in Korea and Höweler + Yoon Architecture in Boston, U.S. Cho’s interest lies in building urban cities from the pedestrian perspective of an average person. She has worked as a public architect for Seoul Metropolitan Government and won the Korean Young Architect Award organiszed by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism in 2021.