Hanok: The Korean House

Hanok Book Cover 1 copyA book which captures the tranquility and beautiful styles of the traditional hanoks of Korea.

Hanok: The Korean House provides a glimpse into the nostalgic and fast vanishing vernacular homes, hanoks, in modern Korea. Built over centuries, “Hanoks were built by master carpenters who designed the house on site, often as it was built.” write the authors in the introduction to the book. Intrinsic to the design of the hanok was the material that it was constructed, which was closely connected with the earth — wood, stone, clay and paper. A wave of demolition and destruction claimed this valuable heritage of the country at the end of the 20th century, when large scale multi-family houses and apartment complexes replaced these carefully constructed traditional homes. Sometime back the connoisseurs of Korean traditional and culture started acquiring and restoring these homes; and the book highlights 12 such varied hanoks. The diversity and style of design of the hanoks featured vary vastly… one such is the 19th century estate home House in Oi-dong that was moved lovingly by its owners from its centre city location in Seoul to the outskirts to preserve its character, through colonial rule and war. Hanoks such as the House of Continuous Learning is a seamless blend of the traditional with contemporary. An architect’s private residence, this house is spectacular in minimalism, a combination of the traditional materials with minimal lines. In the House Simsimheon, the traditional hanok is an escape from modern cityscape. Interestingly, a quality of tranquillity, the breaking-free vibe and a deep connect with the elements are portrayed in all the hanoks. Especially effective are the hanoks that have imbibed a sense of contemporary without losing the quality of the traditional. The incorporation of courtyards, small gardens, and framed views, offer a connection with nature. Jongkeun Lee’s beautiful photographs bring to life the sanctuary like quality of these spaces. This book indeed portrays the richness of the Korean built culture.

Hanok: The Korean House
Authors Nani Park and Robert J Fouser
Photographer Jongkeun Lee
ISBN-13 978-0804844674
Paperback 176 pages
Publisher Tuttle Publishing
(14 April 2015)
Availability Amazon India
Price Rs. 1,568

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