Today's Blog-HanokHanok - Houses where Wind, Light and Sound stay] Hanok houses are traditional-style houses built with natural materials. A growing number of foreign tourists these days opt to stay at hanok guest houses instead of hotels. Here's what foreigners and bloggers have to say about their experience of staying at hanok houses and sampling their beauty and comfort. Visit Today's blogger, Paul Matthews's blog at http://ajosshi.blogspot.com *Today's Blog is produced by Arirang TV in partnership with the Korea Tourism Organization.
Hanok refers to Korean traditional architecture style with various roof types including thatches, shingles and tiles. With the vanishing of thatch-roofed and shingle-roofed houses, Hanok today is generally understood as the tile-roofed house. There are many tile-roofed houses not only occupied as private residences, but also maintained as national cultural heritages.
The Korean style Hanok house is not only the tradition of the past but also an effective architectural style in modern times. Hanok’s charm is twofold: scientific excellence and environmental friendliness. The scientific excellence is demonstrated by a heating system called the “ondol.” Ondol helps residents endure the cold of winter by heating the floors of the home. The word ‘ondol,’ now registered in the Oxford Dictionary, literally means “warming the stone.” When heat coming from the fire in the kitchen is connected to the other rooms, the layer of stone in the floor of the target room becomes heated. The warm air at floor level rises, keeping the temperature of the whole room comfortable.
Koreans built their homes in accordance to geomancy. Houses were positioned after considering the distance and direction in line with mountains and fields as well as the location of water. The direction and structure of the position of the house were decided by this principle. The theory of geomancy is not just a simple superstition. Koreans regard a house built against the background of a mountain and facing the south as being in the most ideal location, and certain points have to be taken into consideration when constructing a residential structure, such as limiting the effects of wind off the mountain, adequate ventilation and exposure to sunlight. When considering these points, Hanok is a very practical residential form.
Finally, the best experience of Hanok comes from the inside. With its scientific excellence and environmental friendliness, Hanok and its aesthetics may be appreciated the most from exploring it from its interior.
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