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Layered Thresholds in Korean Residental Architecture

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Title: Layered Thresholds in Korean Residental Architecture
Authors: Kang, Kloe
Advisor: Sarvimaki, Marja
Keywords: threshold components
kan / gan
show 4 moreentrance structures
traditional hanok
urban hanok
hanok revival movements

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Issue Date: Dec 2012
Abstract: This study analyzes the values reflected in the evolution of the threshold, a term that encompasses boundary and entrance structures as well as the entrance sequence (circulation patterns) in Korean residential architecture (hanok). Most sources used in this study were acquired through searches in physical libraries and on the web as well as over the course of a twomonth field study (June and July 2011) and a short trip (May 2012) to Korea. The threshold space of hanok was studied in the context of three different time periods: “traditional hanok,” built before the nineteenth century, “urban hanok,” built from the early to mid-twentieth century, and the most recent “hanok revival projects,” from 1980 to the present. In this, the concept of kan / gan (칸 / 간, 間) has guided my research. This term carries meaning beyond its accepted understanding as a traditional measurement in hanok construction, to imply the time-dimensions of spatial experience as one passes through the layered thresholds in Korean architecture. In this study, the threshold is understood in an expanded context to include the boundary structures and the circulation experience of the house. This study finds that the conventional concepts and sensitivities of the traditional threshold components continue to exist in Korean architecture, i.e., the dual existence of opposing characteristics, such as formal/informal, inside/outside, etc. The functions of the threshold have been modified, however: privacy, safety, security, and efficiency have been reinforced as a result of changes in the lifestyles of urbanized and modernized Koreans. The recent “hanok revival” trend has stirred up a collective effort to put traditional values in a global perspective and has generated a new appreciation of the physical forms and spirit of the traditional hanok threshold.
Pages/Duration: 166 pages
Appears in Collections:2012

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