u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul
 

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul

for a project to create their own office in seoul, u.lab has delicately transformed a 90-year-old rice mill that was built during japanese colonial rule in south korea. the design focuses on retaining the features of the existing architecture where possible. by carefully restoring the building, which was constructed in 1931, the team has preserved its basic form by adding only functional space.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

façade

all images by yongjoon choi and dooha kim

 

 

before starting the project, the design team read the book ‘in praise of shadows’, written by tanizaki junichiro. according to junichiro, ‘shadow space’ is the dark place in architecture, like shade. in other words, the ‘shadow space’ means space that is neither too dark nor too bright. by referring to this idea, the architects embraced the notion of a softly-lit interior to create a place that amplifies imagination and creativity.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

view at the entrance

 

 

therefore, the most important part of the design is the lighting of the space. the team planned to lighten the entire office softly, by building a wall which contains the illumination in the center of the space while minimizing the external light. consequently, they tried to make place that enables all the team members to be lost in meditation.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

hall

 

 

u.lab analyzed the office lifestyle to create the optimum space for team members. they found that concentration and communication are the most important elements. the synergy created when communicating with other team members is a valuable process, therefore, they tried to draw the act of concentration and communication into the same place. so, two types of space were planned for everyone. each person can make concentrated thought in personal space, and share it with each other in the communication space.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

12m wall built by hemp cloth

 

 

finally, a 12m wall built by two layers of hemp cloth divides the space and acts as the boundary between concentration and communication. furthermore, they combined each function together, by installing two types of lighting to brighten the entire space. when considering which suitable material to use, the hemp blanket came to mind. they conceived that the hemp quilt arouses the idea of sunshine in the morning, which can be harmonized with this 90 year old building and the long history of the place.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

another type of lighting

 

 

u.lab chose ‘shadow space’ to maximize imagination. individual space stimulates concentration of each team member, and there is 8m long table, where the whole team can share their ideas. in short, the design aims to provide a space that allows team members to joyfully share their time and ideas.

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

work station and hall

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

executive room

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

director room

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

toilet

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

hemp quilt wall

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

hemp quilt

u.lab carefully renovates a former rice mill to create a softly-lit office in seoul designboom

accumulation of time

 

 

project info:

 

project name: u.lab atelier

location: seoul, south korea

design: u.lab

area: 1463.68 ft2 (135.98 m2)

photography: yongjoon choi / dooha kim

 

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: lynne myers | designboom

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