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Bill Bradbury
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I've been learning as much as I can about Asian architecture and I came across this excellent video with subtitles.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for sharing this...it is one of my favorites and there are many more...

If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer them to the best of my abilities. Have you read the other links here at Permies about Hanok, and related vernacular forms of timber framing from Asia?

Regards,

j

You may enjoy this one as well...

 
Bill Bradbury
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I do have questions;
diagonal bracing - can the structure be lightened with diagonal bracing like european timber frames or do these cause more issues than they solve?
roofing - the roof supports are designed to bear the weight of tile, clay and wood, what would a modern variant incorporating high levels of insulation look like?
If wall thickness is increased to 18" in order to gain thermal performance, how is visual continuity maintained between interior and exterior?
Thanks
 
Amedean Messan
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I really hope you plan on sticking around for a few years here Jay. When I get to building my house I would greatly appreciate your incite on many things related.
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Bill, great questions....

diagonal bracing - can the structure be lightened with diagonal bracing like european timber frames or do these cause more issues than they solve?


Bracing modalities between the western timber framing technologies and the much older eastern systems is a very clear distinction between the two forms.

Oblique (i.e. diagonal) bracing does lock a frame into a rigid form, yet in overall design does not really lesson frame weight. It should be noted also that Oblique bracing greatly interferes with fenestration placement, and also fail catastrophically unlike Eastern horizontal bracing modalities during tectonic events, be the cause seismic or weather related. It seems that horizontal methods actually evolved this was millenia before oblique systems just for this reason and are still today the overall dominant form through the world when the entirety of all the timber architecture forms are considered globally.

roofing - the roof supports are designed to bear the weight of tile, clay and wood, what would a modern variant incorporating high levels of insulation look like?


Virtually the same from an aesthetic perspectives just for the reason you are thinking. These roofs, with there great mass and overhang profile, effectively lend themselves to additional insulation. It should be noted that most of the easter timber roof framing systems are often multi layered. Our contemporary interpretations of this offer distinct internal and external roof systems styles; one that is visible from the inside where there is open ceilings and and then an insulative space, with the exterior roofing system above this that also then forms a very effective, and well vented "cold roof" system.

If wall thickness is increased to 18" in order to gain thermal performance, how is visual continuity maintained between interior and exterior?


Like the roofs, it is possible to achieve wall thicknesses up to 1.2 meters thick with little to no overall effect in aesthetics. We tend to either build a "double wall" frame (actually traditional in some Middle Eastern and Eastern systems) and/or a "wall truss assembly" that hangs from the exterior of the timber frame providing not only insulative space but facilitates great ease for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing, in addition to upgrade and future augmentation/alteration should that be warranted. This is counter to the many current systems that require "tearing" down or into wall systems to do such work. These thicker walls also accommodate wonderful fenestration features such as window seats and "micro rooms," for private contemplative time or conversation.

If I may suggest, do some "searches" hear at permies and you will find a great deal I have written on this subject, but please do not hesitate to ask more as well.

Regards,

j

 
Hans Harker
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Bill,

Thanks for sharing this...it is one of my favorites and there are many more...

If you have any questions, I would be glad to answer them to the best of my abilities. Have you read the other links here at Permies about Hanok, and related vernacular forms of timber framing from Asia?

Regards,

j

You may enjoy this one as well...



Thank you for posting the video, I watched it few times and i do have some questions. Each question begins with the time in the video to which it references.

1) 2:15 - is this the layout for the frame posts? What’s the significance of the circle that’s show at the end -2:29?
2) 3:10 - the builder goes for almost a min explaining something about the log. What is he talking about?
3) 4:15 - is the log meant to have one end octagonal and the other end square? what’s the purpose of that?
4) 5:44 - what is the purpose of the shallow ‘holes’ in the ground. I see some gravel there and here, Was it somehow compacted into the dirt.
5) 10:51 - what’s the purpose of the short vertical wood block?

Then the construction get to complicated for my current level of understanding
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hi Voy,

I got really excited to "try and answer" your questions...and I am assuming the video I shared is the one there is questions about...So here is my best attempt. Please let me know expand my answers.

1) 2:15 - is this the layout for the frame posts?


Going back millenia, within many architectural disciplines from the Nile Valley to Japan, and some other areas as well, "plane views," of a project are often laid out on a plank of wood with simple graphic representations of the post and major contacting members. In architecture you have plane, elevation, and isometrics as your primary perspective points of an intended build. These "dots" and "lines" represent the "center" or "soul" lines and points of the architectural members of the frame.

What’s the significance of the circle that’s show at the end -2:29?


Very observant!

On many drawings, key members, such as a post in this case, will have a "blow up" of the base and/or top end. Sometimes superimposed over the other and it takes experience to determine if it is just one or the other view. From this, we can determine either in full scale or "ration up or down" the layout to be transcribed to the member. In this case a post bottom. In full disclosure, I am very limited in my reading of Chinese, Korean and Japanese, and only then with the help of technology for the most part. I see both Chinese and Korean script on this board. It is only the amount of time I have been studying, designing and building such frames that affords me the ability to read these plans to any degree. I must also admit that I could only, at best, able to get to 70% to 80% accuracy of a build without guidance from a Master builder of such a style of Hanok frame.

2) 3:10 - the builder goes for almost a min explaining something about the log. What is he talking about?


I could only get (or translate) part of it...Most was about removing bark, then the different stages the bolt (log) goes through...sorry I couldn't be more accurate than that on this one.

3) 4:15 - is the log meant to have one end octagonal and the other end square? what’s the purpose of that?


I could understand that it appears that way, and there are some square timbers in some styles, yet what you are seeing in the video are the stages a tree goes through from log, to "bolt, to stages of reshaping into a tapered somewhat uniform round post.

4) 5:44 - what is the purpose of the shallow ‘holes’ in the ground. I see some gravel there and here, Was it somehow compacted into the dirt.


This is the location where the primary plinth stones will be set. What is shown in frame is what the podii or excavation looks like before packing in gravel. If you haven't already, I would recommend reading these two post and studying the links shared within...they may be of interest.

Raised Earth Foundations

Anyone have experience with Roundwood or "whole tree" timber framing?

5) 10:51 - what’s the purpose of the short vertical wood block?


In this instance they are serving several functions. A common one in this type of "post and lintel" framing, they are a "corbel" which bridges where another member from above rest upon them. You can often find them under scarf joints, or "stepping" on cantilever style timber framing modalities, among others. Another function, if you look closely, is that this is at the top of a post. This area is going to have a great deal going on, and in many "gain" or "forking joints" the possibility of splitting the member can be mitigated or stopped with proper "trapping" members that also distribute the loads more uniformly. If one looks very closely we can see that the little corbelling members is also squeezing the joint together as it is pounded into place.

Hop that helps...keep watching...and each time more will be revealed...



j

 
Hans Harker
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Thank you again, that was very useful information. Especially about how the joint gets squeezed. Now after looking at how they put the elements together like 50 times this is what i concluded:

1) the corbeling member pushes the join outwards - slightly.
2) the long, rectangular in profile piece that goes on top of the corbeling member pushes the joint slightly outwards as well but perpendicularly to the corbeling member.
3) the third piece on top those two squeezes (hard) the joint opposite to the direction to which the 2nd piece pushes it out.
Did i get it right?

Is the corbeling member made out of dry or green wood?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hello Voy, et al,

I will do my best at being brief as this is now really getting into some pretty detailed information and concepts of design modality in the Korean vernacular.

1) the corbeling member pushes the join outwards - slightly.


Not really...the small one referenced above squeezes the joint tighter and traps the "gain joint" at the top from opening up.

2) the long, rectangular in profile piece that goes on top of the corbeling member pushes the joint slightly outwards as well but perpendicularly to the corbeling member.


There is no pushing outward. Some frames are perfectly level and plumb, while others may have an inward canting. This is achieved through the design alone and how the post are laid out using the "line method" of lay out common throughout Asia and many other regions as well.

3) the third piece on top those two squeezes (hard) the joint opposite to the direction to which the 2nd piece pushes it out.


It might help if I described this joinery system as "gravity joints" as much as "locking joints" by their individual geometry.

Regards,

j




Is the corbeling member made out of dry or green wood?
 
Hans Harker
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hello Voy, et al,

Some frames are perfectly level and plumb, while others may have an inward canting. This is achieved through the design alone and how the post are laid out using the "line method" of lay out common throughout Asia and many other regions as well.



That is really fascinating. I noticed how they determine the length of the post (when it's trimmed to the final length while their scribing it to the stone) by the use of a translucent tube filled with water. Is that what you referred to as the 'line method'?
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Hello Voy, et al,

"Line layout" has little to do with the "water leveling" shown. Perhaps look at this post thread, it may help, when I write about "Line Rule." I am glad you are thinking so hard about this. I hope I am not discouraging you with these corrections. It is really hard to extrapolate the full concepts from just photos and video.

Regards,

j
 
Hans Harker
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Jay C. White Cloud wrote: I hope I am not discouraging you with these corrections. It is really hard to extrapolate the full concepts from just photos and video.


j


Not at all, Sir. I take in what i can and do enjoy the process.

I just realized that there's is the second part to the video:



The roof structure is extremely elaborate and seems very heavy with what it looks like some lime plaster topped with ceramics. How big of a part in over all structural stability does the roof take?
 
Peter Chung
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Hello all, my name is Peter and this is the first time I'm on this site and I'm estatic that I stumbled on to it. I hope you guys don't mind me joining this conversation. Basically, I'm not a builder but I'm interested in doing a project down the road which involves a couple of hanoks on my dad's ancestral land. I would like to renovate these structures but instead of relatively thin walls I would like the walls to be thicker so as to be sound insulating as I would like them to have better solar passive qualities and to insulate them for sound as I would want them to be used as prayer rooms...I would love if this property can be eventually utilized as a prayer get away or a vacation home for missionaries on hiatus while retaining traditional Korean hanok feel. Do you guys think a hanok style timber frame could mate with thick cobb walls? Thanks in advance for your replies.
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Bill Bradbury
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Peter Chung wrote: Do you guys think a hanok style timber frame could mate with thick cobb walls?


Welcome Peter, what beautiful structures!

I think your plans sound great. Check out this thread on the subject Thermal-Mechanical-Wall-Systems-Timber
 
Peter Chung
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Hi Bill, thanks for that link, I will check it out. I would love to learn about the craft of wood-working and natural building in the years to come...
 
Jay C. White Cloud
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Peter, I would love to visit them when and if I get back over to Korea...they are wonderful looking structures. Could you (if you don't mind) sharing where they are exactly and there age?

Regards,

j
 
Rob Irish
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Brilliant videos, Bill, and Jay. Thanks!

Not sure how many Hanok videos I continued to watch after those above, but really got a lot out of that little journey.

Few standout things for me:

1. Surrounding a house with stone or sand for reflective light. Although we're in a forest here, whenever it snows the house lights up on the inside more than in summer. This is a great idea and I wondered why I've seen a lot of traditional asian homes surrounded by sand or stone grounds.

2. Log roofs. Those roofs are solid! I don't think anybody has to worry about getting up there and sweeping off snow in the winter. The solid roof probably allows for that low pitch.

3. Decking at entrance ways and long eaves. Their houses don't end at the front door. Almost like there is a gradient to entering. I would imagine most ground dirt gets left behind before people enter the front door. Also something ritualistic about entering inside.. e.g. now you take off your shoes and step up to the deck, then you come inside.


They are really beautiful, although I wonder: is a functional reason for the curved shape of the roofs? That is a lot of extra work to do I would imagine. Then again, not much is really 'straight' in nature so is there a purpose to it? Why does asian vernacular design tend towards arched roofing? I can think of many reasons artistically, or spiritually perhaps mirroring mountains and being one with the landscape, but what about practically?
 
Peter Chung
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Hi J,

Sorry for the late reply, for some reason I only saw your message today. I would love to show you the hanoks when you stop by Korea. I plan to stay here until March 2016 but will periodically visit Korea.

Even if I am in states at the time when you visit Korea, if my schedule allows it, I may take a trip at that time to Korea and show you the location and maybe we can collaborate on a future project regarding this property.

If you are interested in building or learning about hanok construction there is a small chance that I could put you i n contact with a hanok builder here in Korea. I love the history of hanoks but my one issue is that the walls are thin and they typically do not have good sound insulation. The wood framing provides the structural support of the house whereas the walls are fairly thin in traditional hanok building I think.

I would love to renovate/rebuild the existing hanok structures (in the above pictures) with thick walls. At this point, I feel that my options are open. I may actually decide to build a whole new adjacent structure instead and just renovate/restore the old hanoks.

The hanoks in the picture are located in Hadong which is Gyeongsamnamdo Province. It is the southern tip of Korea about an hour and 45 minutes from Busan. Hadong houses the oldest green tea plant in Korea and is known for its scenic beauty and is the backdrop of a very famous novel series in Korea called 'Toji.'

I appreciate being apart of this group with all the knowledge and skill floating around with all the members. I would love to hear more feedback regarding hanoks and other members ideas regarding this project.
 
Dre Anderson
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You won't really know more of Seoul 'til you get in Bukchon Hanok village. Thanks to the only guesthouse for giving me that one of a kind experience! I highly recommend anyone to stay in their place for guiding you to traditional Korean Hanoks...oh by the way, the owner of this guesthouse is a Hanok builder herself...check them out here and you may contact her for any possible future building projects, thank you > www.bukchonhanokguesthouse.com
 
Jisun Lee
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Rob Irish wrote:
They are really beautiful, although I wonder: is a functional reason for the curved shape of the roofs? That is a lot of extra work to do I would imagine. Then again, not much is really 'straight' in nature so is there a purpose to it? Why does asian vernacular design tend towards arched roofing? I can think of many reasons artistically, or spiritually perhaps mirroring mountains and being one with the landscape, but what about practically?


I know this is an old thread but I wanted to comment in case others are still reading. The reason for the curved roof is to allow solar gain in the winter and block it in the summer. Lower winter sun comes in more horizontally and the higher summer sun gets blocked. If you kept the roof at the same pitch it would block the sun in the winter, resulting in a dark and cold house.
 
Adrienne Wimbush
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My daughter and I had the pleasure of staying in traditional Hanok's in South Korea, in February this year.
She is over there for a year, at Uni in Soeul, and I was delighted to take the opportunity to see some traditional Korean timber homes. I have to admit to finding the sleeping arrangements VASTLY uncomfortable and succumbing to the purchase and use of a thin air camping mattress. That improved matters greatly. I had Jay. C. and Bill B. firmly in mind whilst touring, and was in awe of the architecture. The most lovely Hanok we stayed in was in Gyeongju, at 'Hanok Sodamjeong'. Peter you might be interested to know that the walls there were all described to me as 'mud' by the owner. Anyway, I'll post pics, but at 3 at a time it will take awhile.
The first one we stayed in was in Seoul, near the temple district. (Where I discovered my western body did NOT cope with bed rolls (even folded in half, x2)!
1. The stormwater pipes and the porch were all copper.
2. View from the main room into the room we stayed in.
3. The ceiling in the main room. The main beam was a foot square!
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Adrienne Wimbush
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I hope no-one minds me sharing these pics! I can stop at any time haha!
The next hanok we stayed in was in Gyeongju, at 'Hanok Sodamjeong. It was very traditional in that it seemed to be all cob walls, yet not so with an airconditioner, heater, flat screed TV and a wonderful ensuite/wet shower room attached at the back. This hanok was by far my favourite. The whole town was full of lovely hanoks.
1. Shoes were strictly forbidden inside - they were left outside on the step, or under in case of rain or snow.
2. The courtyard wall and gate. The wall was mud with large stones, well protected by a tiled top.
3. The room, ensuite door to the left. Despite the thick mud walls and ondol floor, we could still feel cold air through the doors, and put our feet at that end!
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Beautiful hanok, the step up was the 'shoe on/off' place.
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Courtyard wall and gate.
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Our room with bedrolls out.
 
Adrienne Wimbush
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1.A close up of the beautiful little carved stone steps and the stone pier foundations.
2. The courtyard wall - the peek through shows the thickness. I loved how the walls tied in with the gate and the house roofs.
3. The eaves.
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Stone step ups and pier foundations
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A close-up of the courtyard wall - with the peek through!
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The eaves
 
Adrienne Wimbush
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1.Looking up into the ceiling of our room. The ricepaper lightcover was lovely. Although the walls and roof were warm and thick, the wooden doors where not all that good at keeping the cold out. I'd imagine they were even colder without the bubble wrap!
2. A hanok I saw on the way to one of the dozen-odd buses we caught from one end of Sth Korea to the other! Very cheap way to travel, and mostly very comfortable.
3. The only shot I got of a large hanok-like building being built.
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The timber frame was breathtaking.
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Beautiful buildings throughout Gyeongju.
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Looks to be polystyrene for the roof, sadly.
 
Judith Browning
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Wonderful pictures Adrienne...thanks so much for sharing them!
 
Adrienne Wimbush
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You are most welcome, Judith!
It was an amazing trip, I really enjoyed it. I'm also very grateful that my daughter is into her 4th year of learning the language, without her I would have been lost a dozen times over!
 
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