Located in a quiet and remote suburban area of Paju-si, northwest of Seoul, NEFS Brewery sits on a large site spanning 3,723m² surrounded by nature and can only be approached from a narrow single roadway. The client’s brief was to design a building on a limited budget to be recognised as a new landmark in the area. The architecture team from YKH Associates, led by Tae Sun Hong, suggested to transform the venue for the gathering space to promote people’s activity and designed to reconcile with the surrounding nature.
The exterior wall of this simple building is the main transitional element to reflect nature and to house the function of this man-made architecture. For this transition, different textures and the degree of roughness are used and positioned sequentially from outside to inside. Especially, the rough and natural treatment of the exterior wall is composed of organic material with inorganic concrete.
The medium-textured and chiseled surface of the concrete wall is designed for the inside transitional area, such as the space between the first and second-floor area and the entrance way. The fine smooth blue-dyed concrete is exposed for all interior space to interact with the natural and artificial lighting.
The distinctiveness of the façade design and method of construction was studied, investigated, and tested. This textured exterior wall is composed of three layers: 150-mm insulation is laminated and sandwiched in between 200-mm reinforced dyed-concrete and 280-mm exterior façade casted-concrete. The outer layer of concrete is cast by reusing local pinewood, and the bark was left embedded in the concrete surface for the texture.
All of the concrete used was dyed with cobalt-blue pigment to ensure that the colour dissipates over time. This textured exterior wall was designed to perceive the different ambiance of the daylight to create unique shadows to be projected so that people can observe and experience the time changes of the day. After the sun sets and there’s complete darkness, the light-revealing designed at the bottom edge of the wall (at ground level) illuminates and reflects the wall texture.
Integration of two different scaled space – Layout and integration of different scale and function of space within this building are positioned to visually communicate among each program; Glass enveloped double-story height brewery is surrounded three-dimensional by beer tasting area/pub, exhibition space and office. The brewery plants/manufacturing space with their supporting area and ground floor beer tasting pub are located on the first floor, while the new exhibition space is on the second floor to showcase the brewery’s new products.
The second-floor programmes also include observation deck, beer tasting area, kitchen, offices, and an open-air courtyard. Exhibiting the overall bear making process can be seen from the first and second- floor beer tasting pub area through the glassed box atrium while tasting a beer. The beer tasting area/pub is located in-between and adjacent to the brewery on the second floor, the balcony, and the open-air courtyard, encouraging people to eat, drink, and observe at the same time. Open-air courtyard and the deep setback balcony also extend the visual and experiential connection with the outdoors, as well as allowing natural sunlight into the inner space.
Facade openings have been very minimised by placing the manufacturing space on the north but maximised to admit natural sunlight from the south side where most of the activities take place. The entryway is led by the deep opening and is relatively small in comparison to the building’s scale.
Photos: Dongwook Jung