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HIMACS: Sokcho Housing [in White]

An elegant, minimalist HIMACS house that pays tribute to the great outdoors

In Sokcho, South Korea, a house adorned with HIMACS Alpine White for the façade and roof, communes with nature and changes its appearance as a function of its environment.

Fascinated by the “festival of lights” offered by nature, French-Korean architect Woojin Lim (of AEV Architectures), who has been working in Paris for more than 20 years, dreamed of building a house in his home country in symbiosis with its environment, that would be able to interact with nature.

He decided to cover all of the exterior of this house with HIMACS Alpine White, including the façades and also, intriguingly, the roof. The end result is a majestic roof of pristine white which forms a living tableau and reflects the infinite shades that shift with the hours of the day, the seasons, the colour of the sky and the ambient luminosity.

Architecture where anything is possible

Thanks to HIMACS, which enabled the creation of singular white architecture, even the roof – the most exposed part of the house – is white, a new venture in Korea.

The house looks like a gable placed atop a simple hexahedron. With its 60° angle, the roof brings to mind a traditional chalet in the snowy Alps. That angle, which was chosen after in-depth research and experimentation, is the optimal angle required to prevent the material from being distorted by snow, rain or dust.

The geometric form of the whole creates an interesting visual experience: the house appears to be a “single monolith” rather than an assembly of different shapes, despite the structure’s asymmetrical form.

Since the building’s envelope is separate from its structure, rainwater run-off from the roof is directed inside the vertical skin, not outside. This construction system is as ingenious as it is unconventional, limiting the effects of outside factors like a roof gutter on the exterior surfaces and preserving their pure, radiant whiteness.

HIMACS Alpine White in a masterpiece

In order to create a building that would remain unalterably white, without deterioration over time, the architect chose HIMACS in Alpine White. Known for its multiple applications, particularly as an interior covering, its intrinsic qualities – smooth, non-porous surface, thermoformable and seamless assembly – along with the ability to withstand the tests of time and weather also make it the perfect material for exterior applications like façades.

Another main criterion for choosing HIMACS was the material’s “light reactivity”. Thanks to its optimal radio absorption/reflection of light, it reflects without dazzling like a classic lime-plastered wall. In addition, the material’s properties react to changes in the environment and reflect the changing ambiance over the course of the day in different shades of white.

Location Sokcho, Republic of Korea
Architecture & Design AEV Architectures - Woojin LIM
Fabrication HIMACS Alpine White
Photo Credit AEV Architectures - Hyunjune Lee
Press Release Download press release