Seoul Man

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(I have been waiting to use that title for months)

As part of the mega project, I flew into Korea for a few more days of research. Since I am presently sitting in HK airport, one week in the future, and am recovering from a somewhat hectic few weeks, my words might do less justice than my pictures. The overriding impression this time was certainly “blimey is it cold!”

Our guide Luisa took us to the ‘Secret Garden’ in Seoul, and as the sun began to set the place was really ablaze in the sunlight. In this shot, you see where the King’s subjects line up, according to their status.

Spot where the kids poke through the paper ‘windows’ – in the years before glass this is how they let light into the buildings. And yes, they might have to change them several times a year – perhaps this is also why the art of paper-making is still so much more prevalent in the East.


Really rather magical rooms

One of the few glass buildings in the complex, this later building also has a chimney… it’s the kitchen.

… and the underfloor heating for the King’s quarters exits to the side.

Even his pooh gets sorted out (and sifted through to check his health!)

Nice windows everywhere.

Our guide was a designer herself, so she was able to point out the major differences in architectural style in Korea, as opposed to Japan or China. The main thing, she claimed, is that the arches of the roofs are more gently arched, and often the colours and materials put to use are more natural in feel.

Flexible space! All the rooms are totally open plan, and flexible depending on the time of year or what they are needed for. The planks that are lifted up here are used to allow air to flow through in the summer time (no need in sub-zero temperatures), and provide shade.

More windows. I’ll stop soon, promise.

Windows of windows… even though the quarters are small, the windows make everything feel bigger.

… and meeting up with Dan on the final night was great (my neighbour from when I was a kid)…. but I’ll be seeing him next weekend anyway (okay, I’ll tell the truth… in two days time).

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