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Cascade House

aoa architects

written by
Suh Jaewon, Lee Euihaing
photographed by
Chin Hyosook
materials provided by
aoa architects
edited by
Lee Sungje

It is no exaggeration to say that most multi-family houses in our neighbourhood reflect the auto-generated hodgepodge that results from attempts to accommodate diverse site conditions – such as solar setback regulations – and to maximize marketability. This style is difficult to understand; the structure is off-balance and the overwhelmed space can be stifling. The consequences are left to the tenants—nobody is held accountable for this outcome except for the occupants, and many people are now living in unsuitable spaces that cannot even accommodate typical layouts or items of furniture, such as a table in the heart of the kitchen. The Cascade House is an architectural proposal for five households that offers a new type of space along a familiar symmetrical design. Houses on the second and third floors have secured comfortable living rooms by separating the dining and kitchen areas, reminiscent of the LDK—economic solution in the modernist era. Meanwhile, the bedroom, which is traditionally a private area, is here more available, promoting openness and practicality at the same time. The spatial composition is outlined by a marble column and two wooden slide doors, which divide the living room, kitchen and the bedroom at the centre of the house. Thanks to the marble column and wooden sliding doors, the juxtaposition of spaces achieves a kind of surrealistic montage, giving off a stage-setlike atmosphere. The pattern of the woodblocking on the sliding doors and the veining of the marble column complete decorative elements in the sizable living room. The home on the fourth floor is distinctive for its long and multifunctional hallway and longitudinal LDK space. The symmetrical design of a cascade is, in fact, a question posed to the current setback regulations, calling upon our memories and reminding us of Belgian homes, acorn trees, red cacti, or the mobile game Minecraft. The red tiles and their white-coloured fillings, the rustic stone corner and the decorative details surrounding the windows are all offered in satirical homage to the common typology of multi-household buildings.








aoa architects (Suh Jaewon, Lee Euihaing)

Design team

Sunwoo Uk


Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea


multi-family house

Site area


Building area


Gross floor area


Building scope






Building to land ratio


Floor area ratio




Exterior finishing

tile, granite rock face finish

Interior finishing

concrete exposed, paint, Norwegian pink marble, wh

Structural engineer

Eden Structural Consultant Inc.

Mechanical and electrical engineer

Daedo Engineering


Coworkers Inc.

Design period

May – Dec. 2018

Construction period

Dec. 2018 – Sep. 2019

Furniture designer

dbdb studio

Suh Jaewon, Lee Euihaing
Suh Jaewon is a registered architect in Korea. He serves as a Public Architect of Seoul and an adjunct professor at Hanyang University. Lee Euihaing is a member of the Swiss Society of Engineers and Architects (MSc ETH Arch / SIA) and an adjunct professor at Dankook University. aoa architects was established in 2013 by Suh Jaewon and Lee Euihaing. Rather than interrogating metadiscourse in architecture, they focus their attention on the meaning and construction of architecture itself and seek new ways of communicating with architecture and society. In 2017, they won the Korean Young Architect Award, announced as the winner of the ‘Remarkable Korean Young Architect’ category.