A Small And Simple House Which May Surprise You When You Look Inside


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Many retired couples are crippled by the sheer size of their once-full family homes, the cost of maintaining and upgrading their residence and the rising costs of living – such as property taxes and energy rates – and are turning to alternative housing solutions. This often means downsizing and living a simpler lifestyle. Here is a perfect example of A Small And Simple House For A Retired Couple.

Built by Lim Hyoungnam and Roh Eunjoo of Studio GAON, an architectural firm located in South Korea, this 463 square foot tiny home is the solution to the issue of a retired couple wanting a smaller and simpler house. The couple who were transitioning into retirement wanted their home in a semi-rural area and specifically requested a small and simple house. To complete their assignment, the architects at Studio GAON studied the environment and looked into the past for their inspiration.

The land on which the tiny home now stands brought to mind a house named Do-San Seodang, which once belonged to a 15th-century philosopher by the name of Yi Hwang. Yi Hwang is one of the two most prominent Korean Confucian scholars of the Joseon Dynasty. He established the Yeongnam School and set up the Dosan Seowon, a private Confucian academy. Yi Hwang is perhaps better known by his pen name Toegye (meaning “Retreating Creek”). Although Do-San Seodang is small, simple and linear, its design is conceptually rich. Yi Hwang embraced a theory called Gyung, which called for humility in oneself and respect for others, as well as a simple, practical, and rational lifestyle. This was reflected through Do-San Seodang and the tiny home created by Studio GAON is very reflective of this philosophy.

Similarly, the small house movement (also known as the tiny house movement) is a description for the architectural and social movement that advocates living simply in small homes. The small house movement is a return to houses of less than 1,000 square feet, while the tiny house movement sees houses of less than 400 square feet being constructed. Small houses really emphasize design over size and often utilize dual purpose features and multi-functional furniture as well as incorporate technological advances of space saving equipment and appliances. Alternatively, you can pack it all in and throw out all of the modern luxuries you are used to in order to live a simple lifestyle even more simply.

While the tiny home built by Studio GAON for a newly retired couple is only 463 square feet of inside space on the ground floor, there is also a small loft. As well, there is a large covered porch that almost doubles the size of the house. The porch at the entry end is then followed by two main living rooms, a small kitchen and a tiny bathroom. While the loft, accessed by a ladder, was designed as a study, it could be utilized as a bedroom just as easily. What the architects at Studio GAON have done is borrow from traditional Korean architecture and blended it in with modern design. The ground floor plan is designed to allow for a very flexible and overlapping use of space. The first living area opens up to guests while the second living area is meant to be more private and doubles as a bedroom. Although it may seem an unusual arrangement by Western standards, it is very open and the design flows allowing for easy movement which makes for simple living.


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