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November 24, 2013
South Korea is known for its innovations in technology. Seoul architect Byoung-soo Cho applies South Korea's technological innovation to architecture by experimenting with straight lines, negative space and uniting contrasting materials. Here we spotlight the Earth House, the Four Box House as well as the Concrete Box, all private residences of the minimalist architect.
Four Box House perches on a rugged mountain-side in northern Seoul’s Pyeongchandong district, making for spectacular views.

In the midst of a bustling metropolis, situated mountain-side in the Pyeongchandong district, Cho designed his dream home which he calls the Four Box House. The house combines four disjointed cubed spaces around a tranquil courtyard which acts as a hideaway from the city. Photo by Jeremy Murch.

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Originally appeared in Seoul, South Korea
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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.

Cho, pictured here alongside his wife Eunsil Kim, designed the facade with recycled Indonesian teak and concrete. 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.

The interior design features a few pieces created by Cho himself including the coffee table located in the first-floor living room. Photo by Jeremy Murch.

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The courtyard offers a glimpse of nature from nearly every angle, including up.

Inside, the wooden and concrete stairs contrast with the glass wall that looks out to the courtyard. Combining contrasting materials is one of the architect's defining features. Photo by Jeremy Murch.

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Cho’s recently completed vacation retreat, the Concrete Box House, was inspired by the use of raw materials. Cho decided on grape vines as an unusual landscape element.

Cho's vacation home called the Concrete Box features low-ceilings, a facade of raw materials and a garden of grape vines. Photo by Julian Broad.

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A square hole in the ground and a concrete slab are all that demarcate Byoung Cho’s Earth House from the surrounding countryside.

On the same property, Cho built an underground weekend retreat called the Earth House. Cho dedicates the home to famous Korean poet Dong-joo Yoon. Photo by Wooseop Hwang.

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Originally appeared in Underground House in Seoul
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Earth House is dedicated to Dong-joo Yoon, a Korean poet who died as a political prisoner in Japan during WWII.

The Earth House is described by Cho as a practice in Taoist ideas about negative and positive space. The home was inspired by his graduate thesis at Harvard. Photo by Wooseop Hwang.

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Originally appeared in Underground House in Seoul
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Visitors enter through a narrow staircase, visible here as a slit to the right of the courtyard.

The house is accessed through a set of underground stairs. Photo by Wooseop Hwang.

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Originally appeared in Underground House in Seoul
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Four Box House perches on a rugged mountain-side in northern Seoul’s Pyeongchandong district, making for spectacular views.

In the midst of a bustling metropolis, situated mountain-side in the Pyeongchandong district, Cho designed his dream home which he calls the Four Box House. The house combines four disjointed cubed spaces around a tranquil courtyard which acts as a hideaway from the city. Photo by Jeremy Murch.

Photo by Jeremy Murch.

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