Korean National University of Arts, Republic of Korea
Disclosure: Disclosure information not submitted.
The way of connecting various spaces in Korean houses reflects the cultural and geographical conditions that create them, such as Neo-Confucian influences, a temperate climate with four distinct seasons, and a sedentary lifestyle. In modernizing Korean houses, the question of how to create modern house layouts that fit the traditions and lifestyle of Koreans was as challenging as the modernization of structure and materials. For instance, European houses have developed corridors—narrow passages with rooms on either side in a building—to connect multiple rooms while ensuring the privacy of each room, but the idea of the corridor was foreign to Korean architecture. The idea of the corridor was first introduced to Korea by Western-style buildings at treaty ports and royal palaces in the late 19th century. In the first half of the 20th century, several different corridor types appeared in Korea under the influence of the Japanese-Western eclectic architecture and modern housing improvement movement. Despite its advantages, the housing plan with the corridor did not firmly establish itself as a favored form. Instead, the size of the traditional hall has increased by combining the living room, the dining room, and the kitchen in a single large space, which has become the essential element of Korean houses. This paper examines why corridors have failed in Korean houses by taking account of the following cultural and architectural causes: structural limitations of Korean wood buildings, a strong preference for southward rooms, family-oriented traditional values, and the Korean urban condition.