Vernacular architecture can be characterized as a kind of nearby or local development, utilizing customary materials and assets from the space where the structure is found. Thus, this architecture is firmly identified with its unique situation and knows about the particular geographic highlights and social parts of its environmental factors, being unequivocally impacted by them. Hence, they are special to better places on the planet, turning out to be even a method for reaffirming a character.

In the social setting of a nation where pioneer insight and quick modernization have deleted large numbers of the more established architectural structures, the current supposed Hanok Renaissance in South Korea will, in general, underline ‘first class’ conventional design over different kinds. However, there are instances of vernacular hanok that utilization nearby materials and development strategies yet may not look like notable authentic building structures. 

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A typical Korean Traditional House_

The Korean hanok and its elements 

Hanok is an engineering term depicting Korean conventional houses. Han means “Korea” and ok means “house.” Hanok is regularly situated with mountains in the back, confronting the water and north in the heading. Each Hanok is discernible in different highlights, worked by territorial conditions—like distance and course of wind, water, land, and mountains—and to meet its own and particular goal and interest of the proprietor. 

Customary structures in Korea have advanced all through traditions; hanok from Chosun Dynasty have stayed most popular. Myeongjae hanok is an extraordinary illustration of an elegant hanok from the Chosun Dynasty, all around protected to the current date.

Myeongjae hanok is a remarkable illustration of a high-class hanok from the Chosun Dynasty, very much safeguarded to the current date. The construction of Myeongjae depends on logical speculations and humanistic equilibrium. Myeongjae is partitioned into three regions, the middle Anchae, the front Sarangchae, and Sadang toward the back. More modest units of houses and rooms develop the total hanok complex. Myeongjae hanok is prominent for the human scale applied to its actions to bring solace. 

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Drawing of the proposed Hanok (a) Floor Plan [41]; (b) 3-d perspective view of the energy simulation modeling._
Hanok is made out of two essential components: wooden construction and Giwa, soil-prepared rooftop tile. Additionally, ondol and maru were explicitly intended to decently warm the colder time of year and cool the late spring. Ondol—warmed stone framework—warms the floor and rooms altogether during cold winters, and maru keeps the house cool during blistering late spring days.

The way toward building a hanok begins with setting up the stone bases and the establishment for the warmed floor. The casing of wooden posts and shafts goes up straight away, followed by the rooftop. After the casing and rooftop are up, the dividers of mud and rice straw are fabricated and the floors are placed in. The last phase of development comprises appending the windows and papering the warmed floors, dividers, and windows. 

Customarily, hanok were made of the accompanying four components: wood, stone, mud (counting rooftop tiles), and paper. A limited quantity of iron was utilized for pivots and locks.

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Basic Structure of Hanok_

Investing energy in a hanok permits you to notice its numerous useful and creative subtleties. Plans toward the finish of rooftop tiles, for instance, utilize a wide scope of fun-loving themes dependent on emblematically significant blossoms, fanciful animals, and Chinese characters.

Ondol in hanok 

As a sort of residential, the hanok is generally noted for its utilization of warmed floors, known as ondol, which began millennia prior in the Korean Peninsula for warming in the cold winter. The ondol warming framework utilized timber to warm fire in an oven close to the house. The warmth from the fire spread under the floor, warming the stones simultaneously. Smoke got away through a fireplace, and the stones of the floor were covered with oiled paper to keep any smoke from coming into the room. The same fire was likewise utilized for cooking. 

Since timber was restricted, warmed rooms were little and had little windows. Hanok likewise had unheated rooms with wood floors. These rooms were bigger, had more windows, and were utilized predominantly in the hotter seasons. 

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Ondol – traditional underfloor heating_

The hanok revivification

Around the finish of the nineteenth century, unfamiliar forces, both Western and Asian, started to battle for authority over Korea. Japan ultimately won the day and exposed Korea to frontier rule from 1910 to 1945. During the late nineteenth century, unfamiliar teachers, negotiators, and brokers brought Western engineering styles to Korea and blocked holy places and multi-floor box-like structures started to penetrate the customary cityscape. The streetscape changed, as well, as streets were broadened and cleared to clear a path for automobiles. 

By the end of the 1930s, the Japanese conflict exertion brought residential development to an end. In 1942, the 33 main individuals of the Korean Language Society were shipped off prison as “subversives” and Jeong’s resources were seized due to his help for the gathering. The long, dull periods of World War II were trailed by political strife after freedom in August of 1945. The rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union exacerbated the strife and prompted the creation of two states in 1948. 

In 1950, North Korea attacked South Korea, prompting a harsh conflict that finished with a truce in 1953. The conflict left the two Koreas in ruins. As Korea recuperated from the war, the construction of city hanok continued.

The Korean economy took off during the 1960s, which caused the number of inhabitants in Seoul and other significant urban areas to flood as youngsters filled the urban areas to fill occupations in blasting processing plants. To manage the lodging lack, the public authority zeroed in its endeavours on building apartment buildings. The mix of government strategy and social change caused the city of hanok to become undesirable, causing woodworkers, roofers, and stone cutters to search for work in different fields. 

By the 1990s, just a small bunch of talented hanok experts remained, and most dealt with re-establishing and keeping up with social relics. 

Hanok central living space in Eunpyeong Hanok Village, SKR._

After the enormous influx of hanok annihilation in the mid-1990s, preservationists and the regional government became frightened and started work on plans to secure what was left of Bukchon. The framework offered an inside and out cash award joined with a no-interest advance to hanok proprietors who redesigned their homes as per engineering and plan rules. This made a neo-conventional or “neo-Joseon” style that evoked pictures of rustic nobility, or yangban, living in country estates. This new classification takes into consideration experimentation and, maybe more significantly, the outflow of the proprietor’s character.


Jieheerah Yun. (2016) Experiential Analysis of the Vernacular: South Korea′s Gudeul System. Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering 15:2, pages 169-175.

Cartwright, M. (2021, July 30). Ancient Korean Architecture. World History Encyclopedia.

Traditional Architecture of Korea | TOTA. (n.d.). Traditions of the Ancestors. Retrieved August 1, 2021, from

Korean House, Hanok. (n.d.). Google Arts & Culture. Retrieved August 1, 2021, from


A student with more words to write than the words to speak. Shreya Gajjar, contextualizing the tangible reality of the surroundings to an intangible form of writing. An admirer of human relations to its immediate matter and elements. She is pursuing the course of design that has helped her in amalgamating her thoughts in various aspects of design and expression.