Sign up for VMSPACE, Korea's best architecture online magazine.

Login Join

Expanding Boundaries and Creating Flow: AFER Hangang | Hyunjoon Yoo

Hyunjoon Yoo Architects

written by
Hyunjoon Yoo
photographed by
Kyungsub Shin (unless otherwise indicated)
materials provided by
Hyunjoon Yoo Architects
edited by
Bang Yukyung

SPACE Jun 2024 (No. 679) 



Is It Possible to Construct an Apartment with a Balcony Like a Yard?​

The constraints of the site were complicated and challenging. Many regulations acted as obstacles to the design of the building, and the most severe was the setback regulation for sunlight. As a result of this regulation, the building had to recede at the upper floors, naturally creating terraces. We thought this was a good excuse to convince the client to create apartments with terraces. In Korea, balconies are regarded as a part to be merged to indoor space. However, it was difficult to remodel the terraces created by the setback regulation for sunlight. Inevitablely, the terrace is open to the sky and becomes a real natural space exposed to rain and sunshine. Based on this concept, we created balconies over 2m-wide in every unit. A massing controlled by the setback regulation for sunlight resulted in the units all having different floor plans. This contributed to the unique designs of the 28 units unique, even inside the apartments. The balconies have enough soil depth to plan trees. This is how I realised my dream of ‘apartments with a balcony like a yard’. 


©AA Archigroup (Hyundai Engineering & Construction CO.,LTD.)

Another key element of this project was the idea of an ‘indoor window with a view to another room’. In traditional hanok, a master bedroom has a window towards a guest room across the yard. This allowed for visual communication from room to room across the yard. However, today’s bearing wall structure type apartments have no windows towards a living room, which is a variation of the hanok yard. This obstructs communication between family members. Therefore, this project used beam and column structure like hanok to increase flexibility in the floor plan. Small indoor windows towards other rooms are added to not only make the house look spacious, but also encourage family interaction.


©Roh Kyung



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


Hyunjoon Yoo (Hongik University) + Hyunjoon Yoo A

Design team

Kim Jin, Heo Jinsung, Kim Jaehong, Kim Jiho, Kim


Seobinggo-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea


multi-family housing

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B5, 10F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing


Interior finishing

marble tile, oak hard wood flooring

Structural engineer

Wonwoo Structural Engineers

Mechanical engineer


Electrical engineer

HANA Consulting Engineers CO.,LTD


Hyundai Engineering & Construction CO.,LTD

Design period

Feb. 2018 – Oct. 2020

Construction period

May 2021 – Mar. 2024



Landscape architect


Hyunjoon Yoo
Hyunjoon Yoo is a professor at Hongik University and he leads Hyunjoon Yoo Architects. He studied architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Yonsei University, and worked at Richard Meier & Partners Architects. He has won numerous awards both domestically and internationally, including the Chicago Athenaeum Architecture Awards, German Design Award, Young Architect Award, Kim Swoo Geun Architectural Prize Preview Award, and the President’s Prize for Korean Space Culture Awards. He is known as a ‘humanistic architect’ for his diverse books and broadcasts that provide insight into the world through architecture. His YouTube channel, ‘Sherlock Hyunjoon’, currently has 1.23 million subscribers.