At the University of Seoul, design firm UTAA and architecture students Lee Sang-myeong, Ha Ki-seong, Baek Jong-ho from the school have collaborated on a new ‘rest hole’ retrofitted from a first-floor parking lot/carport in a dormitory building on campus, and we doubt anyone will be complaining about the loss of parking.
The new hangout space, which manages to be both cozy and airy through its use of curved wooden panels, replaces a dark space that was used for few things other than cars, bike parking, and smoking, and perhaps some unsafe late-night activities. The lightweight and warm-colored organic materials and nature-inspired shapes provide a pleasant contrast to the large supporting columns. The concealment of these unfortunate ‘features’ of the dormitory building were one of the top priorities of the team. The former look of the site is below.
The interior space, which is lit by both natural and artificial light, has a fluid sense of movement thanks to the unique shape of its 500 wooden pieces. For the material, the students settled on a type of engineered wood called glulam, made out of larch wood, for its “flexibility and planned efficiency.” Some of the glulam pieces were spaced very close together, about 90mm apart, to form “benches” for integrated seating. As seen in some of the photos of the site in action, it’s also a spacious enough site to accommodate additional chairs, making it a true social study space. It will be fascinating to see how students take to it.
Images: Jin Hyo-suk, Kim Yong-soon, UTAA