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Architecture of Addition and Subtraction: House of Refuge

Seoro Architects

written by
Kim Jeongim, Shin Joonho
photographed by
Chin Hyosook
materials provided by
Seoro Architects
edited by
Park Jiyoun

SPACE July 2024 (No. 680) 



Architecture of Addition and Subtraction

It is always a satisfying project to adapt outdated objects to new ends. Here, the object in question is a concrete structure that had been abandoned for over 20 years near a two-lane road at a mid-mountainous region of Jeju Island. It is said that the structure was abandoned during construction for a project to open a spa and restaurant. The structure consisted of only roof and frames, and overlapped with the forest beyond, creating spatial depth. Traces of weathering over time together with fauna blurred the lines between the natural and artificial, creating a special aura. We were fascinated in exploring this uncovered secret space, while, at the same time, concerns arose around how to successfully complete the project without damaging this splendid atmosphere. 

Along with the fitting project name of ‘House of Refuge’, the client proposed performance and exhibition hall spaces underground, with open spaces for light food and beverage on the ground floor. Due to the limited project time frame and construction budget, and most importantly, to preserve the aura of the existing structure, we decided to find a way to fulfil functional requirements while minimising intervention.



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Seoro Architects (Kim Jeongim)

Design team

Jang Hanjin, Park Soyeon, Jeong Eunjae, Lee Sangm


735, Haso-ro, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do, Korea


neighbourhood living facility

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope

B1, 2F





Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing

exposed concrete, polycarbonate panel, exterior i

Interior finishing

exposed concrete, monobrick

Structural engineer

YOON structural engineers (Hwang Yoonseon)

Mechanical engineer

JUSUNG ENG (Gwon Byeongin)

Electrical engineer



EAN R&C (field management – Park Bosang, Ba

Design period

Aug. 2022 – Feb. 2023

Construction period

June – Dec. 2023


6 billion KRW


House of Refuge (Park Hyun, Kim Kihyun)

Lighting design

Bitzro & partners (Ko Kiyoung)

Construction supervision

JOONGDO (Jang Miryang)

Design supervision

Park Soyeon

Landscape archiect

Yeonsudang (Sihn Joonho, Na Yanghyeon)

Kim Jeongim
Kim Jeongim is a principal at Seoro Architects and has worked on projects of various scales, including master planning, architectural design, interior design, and office planning. Her representative works include Yangcheon Park Public Library, the NEW Headquarter, the remodelling of Seoul Square, the renewal of Cheil Worldwide Headquarter, and La Terrasse Hannam. She has also served as public architect for the Seoul Metropolitan Government, as the city architect for the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education’s Dream Classroom project, and as a member of the Presidential Commission on Architecture Policy, and continues to be active in the public sector.
Shin Joonho
Shin Joonho studied landscape architecture at University of Seoul and its graduate school. His 6-year work experience at The Garden consists of Veke, Amore Seongsu, Monoha Hannam, Urban Forest Garden in piknic, working alongside Kim Bongchan. He is also the co-author of Veke, Nine Gardens with Seven Seasons. In 2021, he founded ‘naturally planting house’, Yeonsudang, and is currently a co-principal of the company with Na Yanghyeon. Currently roaming with a basecamp in Seogwipo, he is working to create a planet where various life forms live healthier and happier lives.