[Monthly SPACE] Bit-Sol-Maru House

  • [Monthly SPACE] Bit-Sol-Maru House
Atypical Suburban House

In many cases, the housing complexes developed in the suburban areas are converted from the existing agricultural field through development permits and are subject to a building coverage ratio of 20%. On the divided land ranging between 300 m2 and 495 m2, the single-family houses are built in the scale from 66 m2 to 99 m2 at a standardized 3-bay plan. This trend follows a typical 3-bay apartment structure that is prominent in Korea. To escape from the trend and to express identity amid standardized houses, a square mass was chosen our single-family house.

The 10.7m X 10.7m square enclosed by a solid brick wall, Bit-Sol-Maru House uses the penetration of external space to control its building coverage ratio. This method allows cloning and mutation of space, which can be easily translated into a new type of space. A brick, an unchanging material, on the outside provides a robust image of the house, but a red cedar, a changing material, on the inside weaves the changing nature and the house together in the view of the residents.

The Courtyard and the Square Mass

In a square-shaped plan, the space towards the North has a poor condition for natural lighting. To solve this problem, we created penetrative external space and brought in light, wind, and rain to the courtyard with a roof sloping toward the courtyard. The sloped roof became a device that brings natural light into the house through the courtyard. The hybrid construction of steel and wood structure satisfied both the morphological and environmental needs of the house.

In place of the living room, Maru is at the center and the corridor surrounds the Maru. This circulation repeating its course from a room to the courtyard breaks the monotonous spaces and provides versatility to a small space. Another path starting at the courtyard goes around the house along the deck, enters through the front door, reaches the Maru, and ends with a gaze back to the courtyard where it started. The circulation system, where the start and the end are connected and continuous circulation to a new space is possible, suggests new possibilities beyond the types of apartments or suburban housing for its connection of interior and exterior spaces.


Bit (sunlight),Sol (pine tree), and Maru (in-between space between room and room) are three elements from traditional Korean housing, Han-ok, that can be reproduced in a modern house. By reproducing the structure of a well-lit house at the scale of a Han-ok, a small courtyard settled in a square mass. The material and finishes from the pine tree bring warmth and softness to the houses. The Maru replaced a living room as the central space of the house. The living room of Bit-Sol-Maru house, currently occupied by newlyweds, do not have a TV and a sofa. The scenery from the Maru that constantly changes 24/7 is more sensational and dramatic than any acclaimed image.