Hyunsoo Kim and Seongbeom Mo (MoKim): “There is still a way to connect the city to naturecon”

By 7 May, 2021 No Comments

opened their studio MoKim in 2019 after they have benefit themselves with over ten years of experience in the industry. They are based in Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan; focusing their work on architecture, art and urbanism. In just one year they have won five awards in the world of architecture, which the most remarkable has been being selected as one of The Best Young Practice of ArchDaily in 2020.

Hyunsoo Kim and Seongbeom Mo, founders of MoKim Studio.

What does architecture mean to you?

It is like a lifelong journey. We started our own practice two year ago. We are at the very beginning of a long journey and still a long way to go – but it has been giving lots of fun.

How would you define your style? Do you think this style is reflected in every type of communication or image of the brand?

We don’t think we have a certain architectural style and will pursue such a defined style in the future. Because we want every project to be different and creative. We would like to continue to learn from the past experience and want to be evolved.

Is there a message or a social reason behind your designs?

Of course, we want to make people’s life enjoyable. A place where people would like to stay and come back.

What was your motivation to create the studio?

Both of us have more than 10 years of experience from world renowned architectural offices in New York, Seoul, Basel and Tokyo. We wanted to explore what we can achieve from the experience we gained.

MoKim's office.

You are specialized in urbanism and art; do you think this particular area has evolved during the past years? Has people changed their interests in the way that their home should be like due to the pandemic?

Door handles to the 1km long bridge can be looked at on a different scale – but it can be still considered as a human reachable scale.

Before a pandemic, for some people home probably only had a basic function such as sleep and getting ready to go out. But after a pandemic – home needed to have multiple functions – home / restaurant / cafe / office and many more. Important to be able to separate the spaces by the functions for psychological reasons – so you do not mix the work and rest and to keep some private spaces.

What inspires you in order to get to your designs? And which are some of your referents in the world of architecture?

The way traditional Korean architecture makes relationships with the contexts inspires us a lot. We especially love how it creates the relationship with nature with the many openings, called “cha-gyeong”, framing nature and bringing it into your room.

We can see that there is a big appearance of nature in your designs. What is this due to? What does nature mean to you?

We do love nature. To be able to connect to the natural environment would make most people feel comfortable and be relaxed.

Most of our projects are located in a city. And city is the man-made context. We believe that there is still a way to connect the city to nature which is always giving us a big challenge when developing a project.

The Garden, MoKim's project.

Which are the materials that you usually work with? What is the reason for your choice, the look of the materials, the handling, the origin of them…?

We work with a wide range of materials such as wood, stone, concrete, metal and glass. Which are also known as the basic architectural materials – but for instance, there is a wide range of types/colors/variations when choosing a wood for a project. We first focus on the harmonization of materials and how well it could balance in the space. Maintenance – long lasting – is also the key element when choosing the materials.

Compac works with natural resources like quartz, obsidiana or marble. Have you ever worked with these materials?

Yes, we have been applying marble and quartz for countertops and flooring for private houses and commercial projects. We love the clean and simple modern look of stone which is the natural material that beautifully blends into the space.

S House Project in Korea, by MoKim.

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