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Seoul, South Korea

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When Seoul architect Byoung-soo Cho set out to design his urban dream house, he turned to the city’s architectural history for inspiration. The result—–four overlapping boxes arranged around a courtyard—–is a peaceful enclave in the midst of the nonstop metropolis.

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  Four Box House perches on a rugged mountain-side in northern Seoul’s Pyeongchandong district, making for spectacular views.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Four Box House perches on a rugged mountain-side in northern Seoul’s Pyeongchandong district, making for spectacular views.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Architect Byoung-soo Cho and his wife, Eunsil Kim, value the privacy, and style, that a concrete wall and recycled Indonesian teak facade provide.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Architect Byoung-soo Cho and his wife, Eunsil Kim, value the privacy, and style, that a concrete wall and recycled Indonesian teak facade provide.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Light from windows on all four sides spills over the dining room’s custom-made teak table.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Light from windows on all four sides spills over the dining room’s custom-made teak table.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  The courtyard offers a glimpse of nature from nearly every angle, including up.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    The courtyard offers a glimpse of nature from nearly every angle, including up.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  The central courtyard helps cool the house.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    The central courtyard helps cool the house.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  A view of the dining room from the courtyard.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    A view of the dining room from the courtyard.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  A single crepe myrtle, which sports red blossoms in summer, defines the courtyard.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    A single crepe myrtle, which sports red blossoms in summer, defines the courtyard.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Cho relaxes in the first-floor living room, where paintings by up-and-coming Germany-based Chinese artist Ruo Bing Chen play off a sofa and coffee table designed by the architect himself.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Cho relaxes in the first-floor living room, where paintings by up-and-coming Germany-based Chinese artist Ruo Bing Chen play off a sofa and coffee table designed by the architect himself.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Arco’s Jolly Jubilee chairs, designed by Ineke Hans, give the downstairs living room a shot of color.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Arco’s Jolly Jubilee chairs, designed by Ineke Hans, give the downstairs living room a shot of color.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Textured concrete walls are a signature of Cho’s work.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Textured concrete walls are a signature of Cho’s work.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Strategically placed wooden windows like this one is an expression of Cho's style.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Strategically placed wooden windows like this one is an expression of Cho's style.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Light is a key element of the home’s design. Photography lights from a local manufacturer keep the basement studio bright.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Light is a key element of the home’s design. Photography lights from a local manufacturer keep the basement studio bright.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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  Paper-covered walls in the tea room on the second floor soak up a softer incarnation of the sun’s rays.  Photo by: Jeremy Murch
    Paper-covered walls in the tea room on the second floor soak up a softer incarnation of the sun’s rays.

    Photo by: Jeremy Murch

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