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Necessary for the Here and Now: KimNam Architects: Some Clear Stories

KimNam Architects

written by
Kim Jinhyu, Nam Hojin
photographed by
Choi Yongjoon
materials provided by
KimNam Architects
edited by
Bang Yukyung

SPACE May 2024 (No. 678) 


©Choi Yongjoon​


Initially, we wanted to design a south-facing house, which would have been placed in the north of the site, with a large yard to the south. However, there is a villa on the south side of the front road, and the terrain drops sharply to the north with only the view of branches of pine trees, which are taller than the buildings. I envisioned a building to the south and a yard to the north. Isn’t it good to look at sun-kissed leaves without having to worry about making eye contact with the neighbours on a weekend afternoon? Wouldn’t it be nice to have shaded areas around the building, which will protect their soccer-loving children from the sun? We asked the client if they would prefer a fine view provided by the topographical conditions for to a south-facing house basking in the sun, and luckily they agreed with us. On the ground floor of the house, we intended to create an open space which would integrate the living room and dining room. The second floor features bedrooms and bathrooms for the couple and their children, and there is the possibility of reconfiguring the interior in a few years when the children leave the house. The underground parking at the lowest part of the site needed to use as much of the site as possible to accommodate at times as many as six cars.


©Choi Yongjoon​


©Choi Yongjoon​


We decided to apply a structural system with a large wall girder which transfers loads to a few exterior walls and an elevator core. The wall girder transfers the load of the slab horizontally and gives each floor an open view at the corners, as well as suspends walls and beams to mediate their different positions on the ground and basement levels. The structure that enables the present and future of the house is exposed and gives order to the exterior of the house.


©Choi Yongjoon​​​

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


KimNam Architects (Kim Jinhyu, Nam Hojin)

Design team

Lee Youna


Seongbuk-dong, Seongbuk-gu, Seoul, Korea


single house

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B1, 2F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing


Interior finishing

limestone, paint, wooden flooring, exposed concret

Structural engineer

YOON Structural Engineers

Electrical engineer

Keukdong Power Tech Co., Ltd.


Mooil Construction Co., Ltd.

Design period

Jan. – May 2021

Construction period

Aug. 2021 – Sep. 2022

Landscape architect

Another Garden

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.’