29 Jul 2021 • Living
Modularity is champion in this adaptable Seoul co-living complex
Joongho Choi Studio’s design for Episode Seongsu 101 focuses on versatility, flexibility and interaction for single and double households.
The team was responsible for designing the façade, residential rooms, communal lounge and furniture of Episode 101. The heart of the residential complex is its lounge, which the designers carefully conceived to optimize active communication between residents and non-residents. Myriad functions enable this fraternity: there’s a café and bar, resident kitchen, a small artist studio and even a stage for performers. A modular wall system and portable furniture series are in place here, so that the space can be re-zoned to suit different uses. What also makes the communal spot special is the fact that it is envisioned with the notion of merging into street, carving out a unique public space.
There are three foundations to the design of the residential areas. Comprising accessories and parts of ‘hacked’ Ikea pieces, the furniture system is customizable to individual needs. Tenants can rent this furniture as well as bespoke pieces by Joongho Choi Studio during their stay, encouraging flexibility and versatility. The last aspect is spatial: separating the bathrooms and living rooms are open-end vanities that eliminate boundaries in the rooms and promote multifunctionality.
In a period of time in which living spaces have faced unprecedented changes, it almost goes without saying that residences must rise to an increased need for flexibility as the designers have put in motion for this complex. Joongho Choi Studio’s attention to fostering interactions is timely, too: the budding loneliness crisis was exacerbated greatly by quarantines and lockdowns, and people have a natural hunger to connect with each other once more. A survey conducted by Philippine co-living operator MyTown, for example, ‘found that 87 per cent of tenants believe that the pandemic and community quarantine measures have made life lonelier than before the pandemic’, with seven out of ten tenants sharing that the properties cultivated an environment where they could make new friends and connections despite lockdowns. In an ultra-metropolitan place like Seoul, Episode 101’s impact will surely be comparable.