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In zones like Bukchon , a neighborhood in the central historic district, standards are stricter: A design might be rejected for using windows that are “too Japanese” (an etched floral pattern, perhaps) or for incorporating red bricks on the outer walls. Though the council’s decisions favor the traditional lines of pre-20th-century hanok, with broad eaves and wooden walls, the standards for the 150 homes in Eunpyeong are looser; the village is viewed as an opportunity to experiment with the form. In order to shape the redevelopment project to which the neighborhood belongs, the district cobbled together land from the greenbelt, the markets and former shantytowns. The project was criticized for demolishing Hanyang Jutaek, a collection of modest concrete homes that, ironically, were built in the 1970s to demonstrate modernity to a visiting North Korean delegation. Once these houses were razed, Eunpyeong became one of few Seoul neighborhoods zoned for low-story homes, so as not to block views of the nearby mountains. But, unusually, the government decided hanok in particular would best complement the landscape and the nearby Buddhist temple. Most Korean architects no longer fully adhere to pungsu-jiri — the geomantic design principles that call for spatial arrangements such as a mountain at your back and a stream to the front — but the connections between hanok and nature remain deeply rooted; if the high-rise apartment is humanity’s attempt to transcend the confines of earth, then the hanok humbly embraces the natural terrain, its rooflines echoing the foothills’ ridges. “For me, the true value in a hanok is the madang,” says the acclaimed hanok architect Cho Junggoo, referring to the building’s central courtyard. “It’s where ground, nature and sky meet in your life. An apartment can’t do that.” Although hanok are traditionally one-story structures, some homes in Eunpyeong have a partial or full second story.CreditJeongMee Yoon Lee Byoungcheol began working with Cho on his house in 2014 and, like most hanok, it has a name: Nak Nak Heon, which incorporates the characters for music, joy and home.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/30/t-magazine/seoul-hanok-slow-living.html
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For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/05/29/615095665/high-ranking-north-korean-official-is-traveling-to-new-york