The Korean House - CHANGES IN INTERIOR SPACES OF APARTMENTS
|Understanding Korea Series No.5|
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|7. The Present and Future of Korean Housing||CHANGES IN INTERIOR SPACES OF APARTMENTS||Glossary|
CHANGES IN INTERIOR SPACES OF APARTMENTS
At present, there are regular patterns for the composition of an apartment unit floor plan. The space is typically arranged by first securing sufficient width for the house, positioning the living room (L), dining room (D), and kitchen (K) at the center of the house for openness and then surrounding them with bedrooms. After the extension of the balcony space became legalized, most of the unit floor plans were redesigned to include an extended balcony. For 3LDK's of 85 square meters, a length of three bays or more is a prerequisite, and an attached bathroom and a walk-in closet for the master bedroom are also necessities. For both private and public architectural firms specializing in apartment design, basic models already exist according to size, though some companies develop new floor plans as well. Apartments occupy an absolute majority in the Korean housing market, but it is impossible to present an apartment floor plan of marketable quality unless it has been generated by a specialty design company. Therefore, work for general architects is limited, and such people are usually assigned the arrangement of apartment building designs, façade designs, or landscape facilities designs.
The introduction of central heating systems meant the kitchen floor-level was raised, a feature that made it easier to create a single open space with both a kitchen and a living room. As such, the same flooring material was used for kitchen and living room floors, and ondol-maru flooring became the most popular design. In the late 1980s, carpet flooring was in vogue, but this trend did not last because it was considered unsanitary and was not compatible with floor heating. As a result, ondol-maru flooring became widely used for a residence’s entire floors, including the extended balcony floors, and even replaced linoleum floors in bedrooms.
One of the features of ondol-maru flooring is improved wooden boards that do not warp when exposed to heat. Such floors were made by joining multiple thin veneers in crossed wooden grains with sliced patterned wood on the top. This type of ondol-maru flooring was first introduced in 1988 before becoming widely popular in the 1990s. Though a more expensive feature in a home, ondol-maru flooring is durable and known for its ability to retain heat for longer. In addition, such a system incorporates wood into the home design, an important selling point for Koreans.
- “Ondolyong marupan sillae badakjae ingi” (Public interest in the ondol-maru interior flooring) The Kyunghyang Shinmun (Kyunghyang Newspaper), November 9, 1993; “Ondol marupan sijang gyeongjaeng gayeol” (Heating competition in the market over ondol-maru flooring) Maeil Gyeongje (MK Business News), December 19, 1995.