The concrete rooms of Jipyungzip, a guesthouse by BCHO Architects in South Korea, are sunk into a grassy slope with flat roofs that form terraces overlooking the sea.
"Jipyoung" literally means "horizon earth" in Korean - its roof is thrown open and most of its mass is sunk into the edge of a cliff. The building does not challenge the endless blue sea or the fresh coastal air, but humbly submits to the forces of nature around it. Its intention is to respect the existing site conditions and to blend in with the landscape.
Where the predominant nature of coastal development in Korea has devastated the natural shoreline, this project seeks a healing hug instead when the building hits the earth. The entire area is submerged, dug into the bottom of the cliff, so that when you wake up you look directly at the sea and experience the liveliness of nature all around.
The project is embedded between a challenging topography and a winding road that blends into the gorge of the slope. The concrete is deliberately eroded by jets of water along the longitudinal walls that border the individual guest rooms. With the help of high-pressure hoses, the concrete walls are cut away by local craftsmen. In doing so, the clean surface layer of the concrete is severed to reveal the rough layer of rock inside, which, when exposed to coastal conditions, allows a gentle layer of plant life to grow in each vein. Immersed in the terrain, these walls become a green expression of a relationship with nature based on humility and gentleness.
Jipyoung House was built for a local mother to receive guests from all over Korea. It is a simple intervention in an existing landscape, which should immediately disappear in its situation and become a really special space for communion with nature. Free to go into oneself, the house suggests that in the spaces between architecture and earth we can find the beauty of nature and the tranquility in life.