- A STUDY OF THE CLAN
VILLAGES IN KOREAN RURAL AREA -
(Ph.D Dissertation, Seoul National
This study interprets the spatial structure of rural clan villages in
Korea. The spatial structure of rural settlements may be categorized
into two basic relations. The first one is between 'global space' and 'elemental
spaces', and the second one is among elemental spaces themselves. Accordingly, the
study analyzes the spatial structure of each village by focusing on major concepts:
placement of buildings, sequence of spaces, - relationships between global
and elemental spaces - and interaction between spaces, hierarchy of
elemental spaces - relationships among elemental spaces
-. Global space is defined by the village inhabitants' own cognition of the
village boundaries. And the village is broken down into elemental spaces
consisting of lots, roads, housing units, and communal facilities.
This study also analyzes the changes
in both elemental spaces and spatial structure since
1950, when conspicuous changes began to appear in the Korean rural society. The study is based on the
research of four typical rural clan villages located in the southern part of
the Korean Peninsula: Sangsa, Wontuh, Yeondong, and Dorae. It has led to the following
1.[Placement] The elemental spaces making up the global
space (settlement space) have different characteristics depending on their
location in the global space. "Placement" is
a concept seen in the size and shape of the lot, the location of the main road,
composition of the unit house, and the nature of communal facilities.
2.[Sequence] Links from one elemental space to another
form a regular sequence. "Sequence" is a concept seen in the
connection from a unit house to a communal facility, to the settlement entrance, and to
farmlands belong to it. There is a close
relationship between the characteristics of an elemental space and its sequence.
3.[Interaction] The relationships between the elemental spaces can be described
as integration or segregation. There is a dialectical tendency to
integrate and segregate different houses. And there is segregation between a unit house and the
main road or a communal facility, while there is integration of the unit house
with the sub-roads.
4.[Hierarchy] There is a
priority among the elemental spaces in organizing the
global space. The order of priority in the composition of the global space is the
road, the lot, and the sub-roads. Communal facilities occupy a higher rung
of the hierarchical ladder than do the unit houses, while those unit houses
near the rear of
housing area are hierarchically higher than those near the front part. The formal hierarchy is coincident with
this compositional one.
An analysis of spatial changes in the case settlements since 1950 shows
of the spatial structure in contrast with the mutability of elemental spaces. The
partial changes found in the spatial structure, however, are weakening the characteristics
of the traditional spatial structure. And they are influenced by the factors such as the
changes in constructional method, socio-economic circumstances, and life style. They are
summarized as follows.
placement] The general rule that the rearer part of the global
space enjoys greater hierarchy has been weakened. However, the boundary of housing
area has tended to remain the same.
sequences] The sequence of spaces has tended to become weaker as houses
become more individualized. Elements such as fences and iron gates have
replaced former spatial
treatments which compensated for the omission of one or more components of the
interaction] There is a trend toward the closed composition of unit
houses which has led to the segregation of houses from nearby elemental spaces.
4.[Changes in hierarchy] As various
housing types are introduced to the settlement,
the formal hierarchy between the unit house and the communal facilities becomes
more obscure, but the functional hierarchy gets clearer as community activities are concentrated at a
few limited locations. The formal hierarchy of the newly-built elemental spaces is
not coincidental with the compositional one.
This study clarifies that
an analysis of spatial structure is crucial to
understanding and differentiating the architectural characteristics of rural settlements.
Furthermore, spatial structure is an important factor that characterizes the elemental
spaces which have been a major subject of the architectural studies on rural settlements.
This leads to the fact that the essential characteristics of Korean rural clan settlements
lie not in the changeable elemental spaces but in the constant spatial structure. The
consequences of the study - the characteristics of rural clan villages and their
trends of change may be a fundamental basis for planning Korean rural settlements.