Lake 192 House in Korea: Fulfilling Mental Health through Urban Design
Mental health is affected by a wide spectrum of elements. Internally and externally, one’s mind can be heavily affected. On the one hand, the state of one’s mental health is also entwined with the space a person spends most of their time in. The physical environment – a constant in daily life – constantly influences a person’s emotions but in the most subtle way that people rarely notice. For someone who lives in a bustling city, mental wellbeing is a need that can be difficult to attain, especially with the problem of an ongoing pandemic.
Lake 192 in Chuncheon, South Korea is one residence that exemplifies an ideal space to revitalize one’s mental health and overall wellbeing. Though South Korea has a plethora of beautiful spots for both locals and foreigners to spend their vacations in, Lake 192 is an architectural piece that has won the Korean Architecture Award and is famous for being the location of several commercials and Korean shows.
The Lake 192 private lake house is a multi-story monolith with a facade of dark, exposed concrete. Mixing modern and brutalist elements, its simple exterior houses a spacious living room, a kitchen with refreshing rustic elements, three bathrooms, two rooms, and four terraces where visitors can enjoy the lakeside views.
It may just be a simple luxury house in the mix of other high-end Korean homes but following the Centre of Urban Design and Mental Health (UD/MH)’s GAPS framework, Lake 192 is a home that fulfills the majority of the checklist of a healthy space that’s perfect for reigniting one’s mental health.
It is a green space with seemingly never-ending access to nature. With this much green space surrounding the house, people can freely exercise and have a setting that’s perfect for relaxing social interactions. This regularly seen green space also ensures better mental health that comes with the overall greenness of a neighborhood. Aside from being a space for social interaction and basically being a space that refreshes the eyes from the monochromatic colors that remind people of work and commercial spaces, this wide, green space also presents an active space for exercise. Lake 192 even has a floating guest house on the lake, allowing for relaxing boat rides or fishing activities.
Lake 192 is also set in a safe area and is designed in a way that clearly divides its private space from the public space. It also has transportation routes that make it easy to access may it be via walking, cycling, or vehicles. As a residence that is also set far from the noise of the city, it’s a perfect getaway from the ambient noise and light pollution of the city, resulting in a better night’s sleep.
Being such a residence where visitors can relax before a beautiful and unbothered landscape, Lake 192 served as the location for BTS’ 2020 variety show ‘In The SOOP’. Launched in August 2020, In The SOOP involved the members doing and enjoying daily activities in their own leisure. Keeping the details and overall design of the home in mind and mixing it with the ambiance brought by the variety show, Lake 192 seemed to be the perfect residence that served as an extension of BTS’ advocacy for mental wellbeing.
Overall, residences like Lake 192 are an example of how effective great urban design is when it comes to helping one’s mental health.
Hit Korean boyband BTS itself showed just how great this impact is through their variety show where many sweet and fun moments between the members were fulfilled, thanks to the lack of external interference or stresses from the city.