Last edited 10 Dec 2020

Owl House, South Korea

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In January 2017, the South Korean architect Moon Hoon unveiled his new housing block in the city of Busan, designed to resemble an owl.

At 16 m in height, the four-storey Busan Times building incorporates a concrete frame that extends from a large street-facing window to represent the angular face of an owl, while two openings at either sides represent eyes, which are illuminated at night.

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The neck and head of the bird are represented by a series of setbacks cut into the building, creating two single-storey flats on the first floor and a smaller two-storey flat stacked above to one side. Meanwhile, a vertical block with a skylight contained within a sliced corner represents the bird’s wing, protruding from the building’s side and housing the main staircase.

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Moon Hoon intended the exposed concrete building to be “full of quirks and fun” for the occupant family’s child. Their room is arranged on a split level, with a net railing protecting the mezzanine bedroom. Plenty of windows, including a small circular skylight above the bed, provide views over the city.

At the lowest level of the apartment, doors slide open onto a garden terrace established on top of a further setback. Running around the western side of the building is a ribbon of glazing, while faceted glass walls beneath create a covered entrance.

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Photographs © Shin Kyungsub.

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