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Necessary for the Here and Now: KimNam Architects: Warm and Cool

KimNam Architects

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

SPACE May 2024 (No. 678) 


We describe this building in two ways, and the first is as follows:

The building has two levels: a lower part with a dense floor plan of three studio units per floor, and upper part on the fourth and fifth floors for the client’s family. The small site required all the possible space, even though tight, but we wanted to improve the spatial conditions with our structural knowledge. The second and third floor elevations were constructed with a vierendeel truss to create a convenient column-free parking at the ground floor. At the lower part, insulation is hidden inside the structure at the cost of heat loss as it can be exposed to the fire, while a steel frame with sandwich wall panels is adopted for the upper part due to the tight limit of the volume by architectural slant line for daylight. The saved exterior wall thickness could provide more space for the client’s family. In a complex building with changing structures, materials, and insulation systems, great attention was paid to throating to keep the façade clean.




The second is as follows:

The building has two different levels: the upper part for a fixed number of residents and the low part which is divided into multiple units for unspecified users. The different parts are characterised by differences in plan, form, materials, insulation, and structural systems. The thick, heavy structure was exposed as if it were floating, while the slabs suspended from a lightweight truss structure were completely hidden within the material. Contrasting the two parts was one of our intentions from the beginning of the design. Expressing the line where they meet as a sharp gap was an important issue until the very end of the design, when all the details were finalised, and was realised by continuing the two layers of profiles covering the parapets of the third floor to the hem of the cladding of the fourth floor.


©KimNam Architects



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


KimNam Architects (Kim Jinhyu, Nam Hojin)

Design team

Lee Youna


Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea


multi-family house, neighbourhood living facility

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope






Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio



RC, steel frame

Exterior finishing

exposed concrete, stucco, corrugated steel sheet

Interior finishing

paint, travertine, wooden flooring

Structural engineer

YOON Structural Engineers

Mechanical engineer


Electrical engineer

Keukdong Power Tech Co., Ltd.


Mooil Construction Co., Ltd.

Design period

Dec. 2019 – July 2020

Construction period

Aug. 2020 – July 2021

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.’