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Necessary for the Here and Now: KimNam Architects: A House by a Lake

KimNam Architects

written by
Kim Jinhyu, Nam Hojin
photographed by
KimNam Architects (unless otherwise indicated)
materials provided by
KimNam Architects
edited by
Bang Yukyung

SPACE May 2024 (No. 678) 



This is a home for a couple who moved to the countryside following their retirement. We wanted the house to play the role of a guide to help them settle into their new life, as if a cheerful friend one lives alongside. They bought a relatively large plot of land, but the couple say they will only cultivate it as farmland as is within their power. We thought that to fully enjoy their new life, they needed an intermediate space between the controlled indoor space and the uncontrolled landscape outside. It didn’t take long for us to become convinced that this space should be a mudroom, drying area, or space to place a chair and get a glass of water, and a place with a flat floor, a frame to hang something on, and some shade—particularly as all the farmhouses in the neighbourhood have a Lexan canopy facing their yard. This green canopy is everywhere, but we wanted to create our own version of the canopy. The louver-gutter we designed has one or two layers, depending on its position. The double layer louver-gutters on the south side block almost all rainwater while allowing light and wind to pass through. It prevents dirt from accumulating on the canopy and make summer days more pleasant as it doesn’t interrupt convection. 





Family and friends will often visit, but this is essentially a house for the couple. We wanted them to feel like they are together, even when they are doing their own things. Even the house is divided into rooms, but the partition walls are separated from the ceiling to remain open visually and acoustically. The wife can see her husband’s face as he walks in and out of the fields while she works on her sewing machine, and the husband can feel his wife’s stirrings as he watches TV.


Detail (louver-gutter) 


©Bang Yukyung 


The land is overwhelmingly beautiful. It commands a fine view of a shimmering lake, terraced fields, and a village across the lake. One may think a view is not important for a private house, but a glimpse of this view will surely rejuvenate the couple during a break. Taking care of the house and fields is hard work, but the combination of this house and its scenery will ensure more relaxation for the couple and healthy and rewarding days ahead.



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


KimNam Architects (Kim Jinhyu, Nam Hojin)

Design team

Jo Gyeonghack, Lee Youna


Yangpyeong-ri, Cheongpung-myeon, Jecheon-si, Chung


single house

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B1, 1F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing

timber siding, stone panel (granite), stainless st

Interior finishing

timber siding, wooden flooring

Structural engineer

YOON Structural Engineers

Mechanical engineer

Seoin MEC

Electrical engineer

Keukdong Power Tech Co., Ltd.


Mooil Construction Co., Ltd.

Design period

Oct. 2021 – Mar. 2022

Construction period

May 2022 – June 2023

Kim Jinhyu
Kim Jinhyu graduated the Yale School of Architecture and Seoul National University. Prior to founding KimNam Architects, He worked at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, SO-IL in New York, and SANAA in Tokyo. He is a registered architect in Korea. He has reviously taught design studio at Seoul National University and Hanyang University. And he is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Ewha Womans University.
Nam Hojin
Nam Hojin graduated the Yale School of Architecture and of Ewha Woman’s University. Prior to founding KimNam Architects, She worked at Herzog & de Meuron in Basel, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects in New Haven, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill in New York City, and Namsan A&C in Seoul. She is a registered architect of American Institute of Architects (AIA). She has previously taught design studio at University of Seoul, Hanyang University. And she is currently serving as an adjunct professor at Ewha Womans University.
KimNam Architects
KimNam Architects is an architectural design firm that originated in a remote village in Switzerland in 2014. Since 2015, it has been active in Seoul, continuing its work. Valuing the various values and perspectives present in architecture, it continues to doubt and redraw with the view that ‘what was right yeasterday may be wrong today.’