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By : Jieheerah Yun

Regenerated hanoks, Korean-style vernacular houses in Bukchon (North Village) of Seoul, have been celebrated as the successful examples of a hybrid dwelling integrating modern facilities in a traditional house form. While the modernization project during the postwar era encouraged South Koreans to live in high rise apartments, hanoks became one of the alternative residential options as urban forest of concrete high rises were perceived to be aesthetically unappealing as well as ecologically unsustainable. Hopes are high that remodeled hanoks can ameliorate not only dreary urban landscape but over-competitive and harsh everyday life conditions. While preservation guidelines for regenerated hanoks provide residents with a possible stylistic model, it becomes questionable whether they are viable solutions given the proliferation of structures which seemingly adhere to the guidelines without considering local urban context. By pointing out the difference between the preservation guideline and its real life manifestations, this paper illustrates how imagined aspect of the vernacular architecture takes precedence over the experiential aspect. In this process of selective appropriation, various vernacular housing types are flattened into a standardized representation of upper class dwellings. This article concludes that it is possible to bring diversity by encouraging flexible interpretations of vernacular architecture and incorporation of residentsí memories in the design process.
Keywords: Vernacular House, Technology, Community Development, Historical Preservation, Tradition.

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