If someone asked me about one of the best place in Seoul, I would definitely answer : Bukchon Hanok Village. It is located between two most famous palace in Seoul and it is virtually untouched by any large development. The village reflects a great balance of tradition meets modernity. Bukchon Hanok village has winding alleys, peculiar galleries, unique café, and distinctive hanok building.
On October 2014, I had chance to visit Bukchon hanok village for the second time and it’s surprising that I met a resident who speak English well and share a little awesome history of hanok.
Talking about hanok traditional house, I feel that it has enchanting materials combination, beautifully carved doors, the creak of old wooden floors, and perfect balance of space proportion. Wood, stone, clay, roof tiles and paper are perfect material combination of Hanok traditional house.
It is said that Hanok represent the essence of South Korea. It is built by master carpenters who invented the authentic method of construction using simple hand tools, without nails for the joints. The division of space in hanok also indicates the social roles of men and women in Confucianism.
The hanok also reflects the ancestor’s way of life and social histories. The name of “hanok” was indicated the contrast with western architectural style “yangok”. After the development of Korea’s economy and modern society, it weakened people interest in conserving the Hanok.
It is the same issue with the architecture problem in Indonesia. I’ve ever written before that today’s architecture tend to choose modern style because today’s architecture world is obsessed with the uniqueness of form and the sophisticated. People think that the unique and sophisticated forms are the key for future architecture. People leave the history and locality in order to become modern and show the huge power of modern architecture.
For me personally, Hanok and Bukchon village reside in my mind, where one can tell a story who they are and where they came from. The space contains a story of Korean society where ancestors once cultivated and established Korea’s ethnicity and identity. It is a space where people can walk around to get the great idea of distinctivw culture, appreciate the small things in life and it is also a great place to escape for a while from a hustle and bustle of Seoul city and life.
Comments are welcomed
Photo credit : faniatmanti