Before and after: a Korean brick home reborn

April Kennedy April Kennedy
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There is something definitely inspiring about seeing a cluttered old brick home transformed into a cool and contemporary home. But what's even more impressive is when the new home looks completely fresh and unique, while still retaining the vestiges of the original structure.

The Korean family home we will explore today covers 189.5 metres square over two levels. The original building had a classic 1980s red brick exterior and brown aluminium window frames. The structure was solid, but sadly lacking in outdoor entertainment areas or decent privacy. What's really interesting is how the architects Moohoi managed to create such a dramatic transformation without removing the old dated brickwork. The old and dated brickwork has been given new life with the accompanying timber floorboards and walls. But it's better to show you in pictures! So come on a photo tour to learn more…

Before: total lack of privacy

The upper floor of the home had large glass sliding doors and a small outdoor area. But the area was too narrow to be used for much except as a walkway. There was scant shade and with no walls and close neighbours, there was a total lack of privacy.

After: stunning outdoor wooden deck

It's hard to believe this stunning outdoor entertaining area belongs to the same house! A large timber deck has been built right to the boundaries of the property and a series of widely set wooden beams provide the feel of an enclosed space. The illusion of space is also definitely created by the strong horizontal lines of the timber decking. The shade above the main building has also been extended and the windows and doors now have elegant white frames. Note the same brick wall we saw earlier on the right!

Before: cluttered and narrow walkway

The ground floor was accessed through this narrow path. Although there is some lovely foliage, it provides no privacy and even serves to block light entering some of the windows. At the same time, there are no clean and unbroken lines in this space and it feels small and cluttered.

After: a stunning natural transition point

This lovely outdoor area now has privacy and a natural sense of openness. The many large bushes have been removed, and a large tree has been given a prime position close to the boundary of the property. The removal of the additional walls and foliage in the rear of the property has also allowed for a lot of natural light to enter this space. Here we can also see how the brickwork has been treated with a soft, earth-coloured paint. It adds a subtle, contemporary look to the home that really blends into the natural, timber decking.

After: a new atrium

Internal walls were removed and an atrium was created. Here we also have a good sense of how the old and new materials work to balance each other. The brick and timber walls complement each other because they both posses subtle tones and natural textures. Finally, the white walls offset the potential heaviness of having two dark tones running alongside each other.

It's good to see solid old brick walls integrated into a contemporary design like this. It's easy to succumb to the temptation of starting a new design from scratch, but it's not always the most cost-efficient method and it's certainly not the most environmentally friendly one either.

Spacious interiors

The shapes of the timber decking are repeated in a series of low walls and barriers in the indoor spaces. This obviously gives the home a strong sense of cohesion with the outdoor area. But it also prevents the new open plan interior from feeling too cavernous. Timber features and differing floor levels like this are a very subtle way to delineate different zones in an open plan design.

Traditional Korean features

We will finish our tour with a view of a cute little room with a traditional Korean window. The room is partially open and could be used as a guest room or a living room. The simple design and timber materials don't just suit the ambience of this natural home, they also reflect the traditional Korean concept of home as a place to commune with nature.

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you are interested in natural urban homes, you'll love A Mexican Home with Natural Essence.

What do you think of the transformation of the outdoor decking areas in this home? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
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