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[Eye Plus] Hanok, with people at all times

By Lim Jae-seong

Published : March 25, 2023 - 16:01

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Jeon So-min, a student majoring in traditional architecture, shows how she measures Yuhyeondang at Korea National University of Cultural Heritage in Buyeo-gun, South Chungcheong Province.

Yuhyeondang, a vacation home built 1971, has all the marks of traditional hanok -- from the graciously curved eaves to the wooden floor exposed outside. But for convenience, modern styling has been applied to its lighting, kitchen and restroom.

The building is a good example of how traditional architecture developed to fit people’s everyday life, as it has been one of the university’s event venues since being moved to its current location in 2003.

“This building shows that traditional architecture does not fall away from the modern lifestyle,” Jeon said in the interview at Yuhyeondang.

Her major encompasses all kinds of hanok, from old-style ones that became part of cultural heritage to more modern ones where people now live.

“I chose this major to build my own hanok to live,” she said.

Referring to her hopes for increased appreciation of hanok as a venue for life, she also stressed the importance of shining a light on features preserved in old architecture.

“I have taken an interest in repairing old buildings since I entered this school,” Jeon said.

“I want to put my name into professional reports about old hanoks designated as cultural heritages. This is my new goal.”

Photos by Lee Sang-sub

Written by Lee Sang-sub and Lim Jae-seong