Work / Interiors

Anchored in multicultural Asian backgrounds, OWIU and Baroo partnered to create a space that felt definitively Korean without pandering to pan-Asian minimalist tropes.

While the raw space itself was industrial, Mina Park wanted to evoke the warmth of a Hanok, a traditional Korean architectural structure. While at the outset the industrial skeleton and intimate Hanok concept seemed at odds, the addition of custom details were enlisted to create an authentic aura of a Korean home.

From the beginning, to create a Korean specific aesthetic the firm decided to use rich and moody walnut wood to give depth to the space and avoided lighter blonde palettes. A combination of Venetian and Shikkui plaster were used to counter the industrial walls and add texture. An aperture was created into the kitchen along with an addition of a live edge chef’s counter to create an almost screen like effect so guests are allowed to see the action of the kitchen like a movie playing in real-time.

OWIU GOODS, the sister ceramics branch of the design firm created custom pieces to precisely manifest Mina Park and Kwang Uh’s vision. Large decorative moon platters, a common decorative element of many traditional homes, were hand made from local clay to be used as wall display. A giant planter mimicking the iconic Korean moon vases was also custom made to house the Australian bottleneck tree in the entrance.

Remarking on the vision for the space, Mina Park believes, “A primary Buddhist principle is compassion or to alleviate suffering. We wanted the space to alleviate suffering, to feel like a healing, calming space.” If food is healing, the space is then a temple. Baroo hopes to create a temple, a place where a meal feels like an offering and OWIU hopes to execute that through thoughtful and sentimental details to create a space that evokes more than just a look, but rather a feeling.