이번에 소개할 내용은, UTAA 서울 스튜디오가 진행한 어린이 센터의 집 모양 확장 파트이다. 이 부분을 통해 아이들이 놀 수 있는 공간을 제공하여 정원 쪽을 바라보면서 책을 읽을 수 있게 하였다.
UTAA에 한 선생님이 요청하기를, 피노키오 어린이 센터를 만들기 위해 낡은 건물 하나를 확장개장하고 싶다고 하였는데, 이 공간은 공연과 전시를 할 수 있으면서도 교육적 활동과 독서가 이루어질 공간이어야 한다고 하였다.
이 건물은 포천 시 근교 산을 둘러싼 곳에 위치하고 있는데 서울에서는 북쪽으로 2시간 방향이었고, 예전에 예술작가의 집이자 스튜디오로 사용되었던 곳이었으나 2년 정도는 그냥 방치되어 있었다.
클라이언트는 이미 이 건물의 집을 '피노키오'라고 지어놨기에, 그 스토리를 기반으로 공간을 상상하기 시작했다고 건축가들은 설명했다.
"피노키오 이야기를 보면, 돌고래 뱃속에 갖혀 있죠. 이 부분을 집에 차용했습니다."
이러한 아이디어를 강조하기 위해 외부로 더 가까운 접근을 창조했다. UTTA는 독서 공간을 만들기 위해 건물의 측면을 집 모양의 구조로 확장했다.
북카페로 알려진 이 구조는 포근한 헛간같은 느낌으로 만들어져 있다. 깊은 창문 가로대는 또한 좀 더 폐쇄적인 좌식 공간을 제공한다.
"북카페는 아이들이 일어나고 앉고 누울 수 있는 공간이며, 이곳에서는 책을 더 가까이 편안하게 느낄 수 있게 합니다. 박공 나무 구조는 이들에게 은신처 같은 공간이 됩니다."
A house-shaped extension protrudes from the side of this children's centre by Seoul studio UTAA, providing a playful space for reading that faces out onto a garden.
A teacher asked UTAA to refurbish and extend an old building to create the Pinocchio children's centre – a space for reading and educational activities which can also host performances and exhibitions.
The building is in a mountainous setting near the city of Pocheon, two hours north of Seoul, and was formerly used as an artist's home and studio but had been deserted for two years before work commenced.
"The client had already named this building Pinocchio, so we started to imagine a space that is suggestive of that story," the architects told Dezeen.
Architect in charge: Kim Chang Gyun
Design team: Kim Ye Seul, Noh Seo Young
Photography is by Jin Hyo-suk.
"Taking the story of Pinocchio trapped in the stomach of a whale, we proposed the idea of a house within a house."
The same concept has been used by many architects who needed to create smaller spaces within larger interiors, effectively building houses within houses.
To emphasise this idea and create a closer connection with the outdoors, UTAA extended the house-shaped structure beyond the building's side facade to create a reading area.
The structure, known as the book cafe, is lined with larch plywood to make it feel like a cosy cabin. A deep window ledge was also added to provide a more enclosed sitting space for one.
"The book cafe is a space where the children can stand, lie down or sit, and feel comfortable and closer to books," said the architects. "The gabled wooden structure becomes their shelter."
The ground floor also has a large room for exhibitions, while the gabled first floor has two smaller house-shaped structures where children can play or stage performances.
"The [ground] floor is 4.6 metres high, so we divided it up vertically with attic-like structures," explained the architects.
Both structures feature steps leading up to mezzanine levels with windows for the children to peek out of. One also has a blackboard for the children to scribble on.
"A space affects how children feel and act, so we tried to design spaces that fit with their scale," said the architects.
"Instead of attracting their interest with decorative or visual elements, we have encouraged the children to interact with the interior and exterior of the building and explore its various areas."
Some areas inside have been enlivened with lime-green paint, which was chosen as a reference to the surrounding forest.
The architects also renovated a square-shaped annex building next to the main building, which houses an office and a rest area for parents.
"This space is designed to stimulate the imagination of children – they can play, read a book, and have fun roaming around the various spaces," said UTAA.
"One of the nicest things the client has told us since the work was completed is that the children ask to stay even longer when their parents come to collect them."
The project was completed in 2012. It was recently featured as part of a London exhibition on Korean architecture, alongside a schoolhouse with a serrated profile and a memorial centre that pays tribute to Korean independence activist Ahn Jung-geun.
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