World

Songpa micro housing

By Jake Wallis Simons, for CNN

Updated 9:46 AM ET, Tue March 31, 2015
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The new micro-housing complex in Songpa, an area of Seoul, is an innovative approach to problems of urban density and housing cost. Courtesy SsD Architecture
Individual units can be combined to form bigger houses when people wish to live together. Courtesy SsD Architecture
There are also areas that are "semi-public", which take the pressure off the smaller private living spaces. Courtesy SsD Architecture
Windows are cleverly used to allow a view of the outside world no matter how deep you are inside the complex. Coutesy SsD Architecture
Many of the living spaces are communal, which ensures the efficient use of space. Courtesy SsD Architecture
The Songpa complex is mainly used by artists, and it features a communal theater and exhibition space. Courtesy SsD Architecture
Lightweight yet strong building materials are used which allow for the greatest use of space. Courtesy SsD Architecture
They also allow for maximum flexibility, ensuring that the building will adapt to the needs of its occupants, not the other way round. Courtesy SsD Architecture
Skylights form an important part of the design. They cut through multiple floors, ensuring that the complex remains light throughout. Courtesy SsD Architecture
The communal spaces lie on the fault-line between public and private, enhancing the sense of community among residents. Courtesy SsD Architecture
The entrance to the complex creates the feeling that you are entering another way of living. Courtesy SsD Architecture
The two units act as a single house, but can be broken up again when circumstances change. Courtesy SsD Architecture
Every aspect of the complex has been re-considered. The corridors, for instance, can double up as relaxing or working areas. Courtesy SsD Architecture
In some cases, individual units can be combined by the residents themselves via a few easy steps. Courtesy SsD Architecture
The outcome is an intriguing housing complex that turns many traditional architectural assumptions on their heads. Courtesy SsD Architecture