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INTER-COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN OLD & NEW in generations as well as in building elements


‘skimA’ in collaboration with’ VS-A.KR’ won the 2nd Prize of the 10th Korean Rural Architecture Competition 2015, UIA approved international architectural ideas competition held by Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs & hosted by Korea Rural Community Corporation / Korean Institute of Rural Architecture. It's our belief that we promote sustainable & environmental design, and this time for rural buildings in Korea, we actively use low-tech passive design strategies for maximizing building performance by low-tech components with high-tech engineering.



Unlimited consumption age is over. We shall consider low consumption and recycling. What shall be new philosophy of extension for rural buildings in Korea? How can this extension be helpful to improve intergenerational exchanges? Our project is an example to answer to these questions.


Renaissance of typical rural buildings in Korea

In rural area, buildings are constructions rather than “architectural” buildings. Styles come from acceptance and repetition of what will be reasonable and functional over a long lasting period. Therefore, renovation of rural architecture shall be based on the ACCEPTANCE & INTELLIGENT USE of the existing technique & construction, without de-naturalizing nor reverting the original construction.


Universal extension building strategy

Four possible strategies for extension of rural buildings.

A : Keeping the existing building with no or minor changes

B : Adding a new building with the “same” geometrical or construction logic, if this logic is still interesting nowadays : dimensions are related to the available products, standard sizes, structure properties, codes, possibility to install...and may be to be recycled.

C : New part can be different, as long as all the construction details follow the same logic as the old one : reasonable & functional, over a long lasting period (senior centre).

D : New building envelope by “small components”, which are reasonable and functional . Let’s just consider low-tech materials with high tech engineering to match energy saving strategy. The best would be that local people can build it by themselves (junior centre).

We apply the strategy C “partial replacement” for the senior centre and the strategy D “partial new construction using recycled building components” for the junior centre.


Minimum intervention for maximal effect

We MINIMIZE THE INTERVENTION zones to reduce maximum unnecessary cost & constructions. All spaces don’t need full HVAC (heating, ventilating, and air conditioning) all over the year. We classify all the given programs by 3 zones (exterior, semi-exterior and interior) and DISTINGUISH clearly HVAC strategies according to the HIERARCHY of each zones: full HVAC system to be applied for the interior zones, while only partial HVAC system applied for the semi-interior zones. 


Comfort control

We actively use LOW-TECH PASSIVE DESIGN STRATEGIES such as external solar shadings, books as insulating materials, double skin façade effect using semi-exterior atrium space, light well and cross natural ventilation.

Semi-exterior spaces have minimum air-tightness and insulation. Local heating & cooling devices are used when necessary.

In the extension part of the senior centre, timber structure acts as external solar shading to reduce overheat. Also, high performing polycarbonate panel and fritted IGU are using combined with inner solar shading device. Top roof windows help to evacuate overheat when necessary.   

For the junior centre, single glass atrium library space, combined with books as insulator and inner single glass act as double skin façade. Outer glasses, shaded in summer by being set back from the existing slab, are laminated with solar control film such as XIR film.  Inner translucent single glasses provide diffused lights into the classrooms. Operable glass windows on the library floor brings cool air in summer from the ground floor into the atrium space. In winter, it warms up book cafe.



We KEEP as much as possible the existing materials, avoiding unnecessary demolition & re-construction processes. Instead, we REUSE as much as possible construction elements such as dismantled wooden structures. We minimized to use high performance insulating glazing, in MAXIMIZING BUILDING PERFORMANCE with LOW-TECH COMPONENTS & TECHNIQUES (such as double skin façade system using multiple use of single glass layers, books as insulators etc.).



These renovations can be done anywhere, by anybody. Constructive logic of extension parts respects to the existing, without complicating the construction by violating existing structure. We use only STANDARD MATERIALS & TECHNOLOGIES, which are easily found & applied by any builder: for senior centre, stick timber curtain wall system using IGU & polycarbonate panel with interior solar shading is applied, while stick aluminium curtain wall system using single laminated glasses for junior centre.


Social exchanges via spatial exchanges

We intend to create many in-between spaces in this project which can be semi-exterior or semi-interior. These spaces, often multi-functional can be occupied by the senior or the junior. Through these flexible spaces, we do wish to promote INTERCOMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN OLD & NEW in generations, as well as in building elements.


Client: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Type: UIA approved International Competition for Korean Rural Architecture
Size: 860 sqm
Location: Goesan-Gun, Chungcheonbuk-Do, Korea
Architect: skimA

Facade Engineering: VS-A.KR
Date: Aug 2015
Status: 2nd Prize

Team: Sejin Kim, Naree Kim, Sanghyeok Lee (DA), Robert-Jan VAN SANTEN, Sunhoo Kim, Jaeman Park, Seungyoung Oh, Yunseon Cho

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