|IROJE KHM Architects
Unconventional is definitely a description that comes to mind when it comes to the Flying House, a residence that HyoMan Kim and IROJE KHM Architects completed in 2016 in Gyeongseo-dong, Seo-gu, Icheon, South Korea. The reinforced concrete structure was built for a pilot and his family, so it's no wonder that the approximately 195 square meters of space comprising this residence appears as if it has just "landed" among its surroundings near Incheon International Airport.
The first thing one notices is the lightness that is an integral part of its design, especially thanks to the roof's canopies which seem to pull the white house upwards towards the sky. This is actually intentional; as the architects claim, they wanted its pilot owner to feel as if he was flying even when his feet were on the ground. Interestingly, this design also brings to mind elements of traditional Korean architecture from eras past which are presented in a thoroughly contemporary manner.
Built around a central, garden courtyard, every room in the property opens out onto the garden which actually continues to wrap around up the sides of the house, embracing it from above. Walkways and stairways lead up this garden roof, further playing with the idea of rising to the sky. As another play on tradition, a rumaru pavilion on the second storey makes the perfect spot for respite.
Down on ground level, the private courtyard encourages its residents to embrace the outdoors even when inside since - other than being visibly a part of the interior through the wide window walls of each room - there's even a small garden growing - complete with grass and tree - in one of the bathrooms!
Inside, the house is all angles and interesting nooks. There's nothing remotely "cookie cutter" about this home which features polished and rough concrete, and minimal white elements throughout. As far as the décor goes, it’s the strong, white architectural elements that really take the stage here and the furnishings are only present for their specific uses. However, a few strategically placed splashes of color do make an appearance, especially red touches, such as in the cabinet and mirror frame of the "garden" bathroom; a plexiglass chair around the kitchen table; the stool in a study nook; and pillows on the floor of the sunken sitting room, among others.
The home's multiple levels which visually build on each other are another element that really make a strong statement. Other than the sunken living room, the stairs throughout the space are utilized not only as a means to get from one floor to the other, but as destinations in themselves; almost like angled rooms or built in seating elements. The one thing that is certain about this "Flying House" is that nothing is static; everything flows gracefully like a bird - natural or mechanical - in flight. Up, down, all around.