Bukchon Hanok is situated between Gyeongbokgung Palace and Changdeokgung Palace, refelcting 600 years of Korea’s History. The streets are lined with traditional hanok which characteristics are deriven form Chinese and Japanese counterparts but has developed very distinct characteristics due to climatic and cultural circumstances. The materials included stone in the foundation, a wooden frame with walls made of clay and tiles or straw for the roof.


Most of Seoul’s surviving hanok, besides the palaces and temples, date back to the 1950s and early 60s if not to the Japanese colonial period. Modifications were made mainly to the heating system and interior materials. The earliest ondol heated only parts of a room. The system of heating an entire room first emerged in the mid-13th century of the Goryeo Dynasty and became prevalent throughout the Korean peninsula in the early Joseon Dynasty (late 15th to early 16th century).


A traditional Korean private home (hanok), or at least those of the upper classes, employed much the same materials as larger Korean public buildings and had similar roofing, but on a smaller scale. The most important structures were, again, timber supporting columns, which defined room space. Between these columns, the external walls were constructed using brick, stone, or earth. Interior walls or temporary room divisions were made using plain sliding paper doors (changhoji) made from mulberry bark. In Korea, only public buildings such as temples, administrative offices, and palaces were permitted to carry colourful wall decoration. External doors and windows were made using interlocking grids of wood (changsal), often carved into highly decorative latticework (kkotsal). The roof was built using wooden beams and then tiled using clay tiles. Roofs could either be in the form of a gable or have overhanging eaves as in public buildings.


Hanok: Reconfiguring Traditional Architecture in Seoul