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2009 Awards Entries for Culture Heritage Conservation



Hahn Moo-Sook House, Seoul

Hahn Moo-Sook was one of Korea’s most distinguished female writers of the early twentieth century. Her house in Seoul is a courtyard structure built of wood and stone, composed of three halls with a central rock garden. This has recently been thoroughly restored, a process involving dismantling parts of the structure in order to correct distorted wooden elements and re-lay parts of the stone foundations, including the traditional ondol under-floor heating system. The preserved interior of the house contains a museum memorializing Hahn Moo-Sook’s life and work.

Hanok Regeneration in Bukchon, Seoul

The Bukchon quarter of Seoul features a high concentration of traditional hanok wooden houses, a type increasingly threatened by modern development. The houses are usually built on the courtyard plan and feature saddle roofs and brick-and-stone wall construction. Many were in advanced stages of decay, with the timberwork suffering from rot and brick foundations threatened by subsidence. The conservation effort by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, partnered with the University of Seoul and a number of grassroots organizations, not only sought to restore the heritage townscape of this urban district, but also to promote awareness of the environmental benefits of traditional dwellings among residents, visitors and similar communities in other Korean cities.

House of the Clan Head of the Jeon Family, Hamyang 

Historically agricultural villages in Korea were clan-based, with the residence of the clan head functioning as a community centre for the village. The residence was passed down according to seniority within the clan. In this case, the house of the head of the Jeon clan was built in 1866, a complex of several buildings with a main hall, pavilions, stables and a thatched bath house. The departure for the city of the current clan head left the house empty and derelict, but it could not be sold for fear of affecting the fortunes of the clan. In the 1970s its stone elements had been covered over in concrete, and the timbers of the roof and walls began to rot. It was decided to donate the complex to Arumjigi, the Culture Keepers Foundation, which has restored the complex as a lodge where visitors can experience the residential culture and aesthetic of a traditional Korean house.