By Kyle Holzhueter
Editors Note – This article is a feature length pictorial look at the various aspects of natural building in Korea. The full-length article will be in the upcoming issue of The Last Straw and is available in its entirety right here on the website for subscribers. Make sure you have a subscription soon so you won’t miss this stunning array of natural building techniques.
Traditional Korean Architecture
Traditional Building in Korea relied primarily on natural and local materials. Buildings were traditionally designed according to the 間 (Korean: ka, Japanese: ken) module, a common measurement found in east Asia.
Traditional Korean homes generally have a timber frame with adobe or wattle and daub infill, though regional variations are found throughout the country.
Especially on Jeju Island where volcanic rock and strong winds are abundant, homes traditionally consisted of a double wall system with an exterior wall of volcanic rock surrounding an interior wall, creating a protected corridor around the house. This in turn, protected the interior walls from wind and rain and improved the thermal performance of the home. Also because of the strong winds, thatched roofs were generally secured by a net of straw ropes.