this public rental housing's biophilic design responds to the climate crisis

this public rental housing's biophilic design responds to the climate crisis


haesimdang, a public rental housing for the elderly with ample communal spaces to enjoy


situated in the city center of dobong-gu in seoul, haesimdang is a senior public rental housing pilot model that responds to an aging society in the region. korean firms geeumplus and gain architecture collaborated on the project – realizing a welcoming facility with colorful façades and a rich roof garden design. haesimdang, which translates to ‘a house where we can live comfortably’, combines residential convenience facilities with healthcare services that cater to both the elderly and those with reduced mobility. 

lhkorea land housing corporation public rental housing haesimdang 3
images © geeumplus & hoonkoo lee



the first floor accommodates the disabled, while the second and third levels respectively host older women and men. the fourth floor, finally, welcomes elderly couples. to join all residents together, geeumplus (see works here) and gain architecture designed a local community space on the first floor, adjacent to the roadside, that provides a place for rest and leisure, with inexpensive cafés to enjoy. that said, each floor still holds its own communal space and can access an open-to-all eco-garden on the roof. 

lhkorea land housing corporation public rental housing haesimdang 5
floors marked by different colors



a biophilic design that responds to the climate crisis


moving outwards, the haesimdang social housing building is clad in a brick finish that matches the surrounding landscape. additionally, the two middle floors feature a specific color accent — green and yellow — that emphasize the biophilic qualities of the architecture. here, the biophilic layer mostly reveals itself through the rooftop garden designed for permaculture and where various species and plants interact. although small in size (200 sqm), the rooftop plays the role of an eco-garden in the middle of a bustling city; residents can gather for a barbecue, participate in agricultural activties, or enjoy the sight of greenery. meanwhile, the common spaces on each floor feature a green wall — creating a pleasant and natural atmosphere for anyone occupying the areas. 




‘while many buildings have focused on energy production/ saving in response to the climate crisis,haesimdang plays a positive role in the environment by securing biodiversity and establishing green spaces. moreover, [it] will serve as a good example of the potential new role public rental housing can play in response to climate change,’ reveal the architects.

lhkorea land housing corporation public rental housing haesimdang 9
a communal space on each floor creates a natural atmosphere with green wall designs



beside environmental concerns, the project also responds to the negative stereotypes that public rental housing suffers from in korean society. ‘haesimdang will be a model representing the possibility of the coexistence of architecture and nature in the city center. it will become the pride of our neighborhood — hoping to improve the self-esteem and independence of the elderly while pursuing a healthy and positive partnership with the local community,’ concludes geeumplus. the project was commissioned by LH (korea land & housing corporation) and was completed in 2021. 


lhkorea land housing corporation public rental housing haesimdang 11
rooftop garden that echoes the biodiversity initiative






project info:


name: haesimdang, LH public rental housing 
location: dobong-gu, seoul, korea
client: LH (korea land & housing corporation) social housing group

program: public rental housing & neighborhood living facilities
completion year: 2021
gross built area: 1,488 sqm
architecture: geeumplus & gain architecture
lead architect: seonghun kim
construction: hanmaek
façade construction: MBK (material of building korea)
pergola construction: gojinTNC
roof garden construction and consulting: delicious garden korea inc.
residential environment consulting: department of interior architecture & built environment, yonsei university 
exterior finishing materials: infineli high-resolution printed steel sheet, PosMAC high-corrosion-resistant alloy-plated steel sheet, brick cladding
photography: geeumplus & hoonkoo lee



designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom

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