Uses of HanokAbout "Hanok"

Types of Hanok

During the Joseon Dynasty, hanok was widely used for the following purposes.

  • Residential Architecture

    It refers to a narrow range of hanok used for residence. It can be largely divided into private houses of the ordinary people in the Joseon Dynasty, and noble houses of the nobleman. Due to the topographical characteristics of two-thirds of the country consisting of mountains, the climate with distinct four seasons, and the influence of the Feng Shui geography, the hanok, with Ondol and Maru as basic facilities, features a combination of rooms with various characteristics.

  • Confucian Architecture

    In the Joseon Dynasty, Confucianism became a central ideology in all fields such as politics, society, and culture, and so, Confucian architecture developed in response. It is largely divided into ‘Etiquette Architecture’ to carry out the rituals and ‘Education Architecture’ to educate students. Sajikdan, Jongmyo, Sungkyunkwan, Hyanggyo, and Seowon are representative examples. Among them, Hyanggyo and Seowon are built with both a place for rituals and place for education. As they are distributed nationwide, they clearly show the characteristics of hanok. In general, Confucian architecture is arranged based on the core aesthetics of Neo-Confucianism, that is, moderation and justification, and was built simple and plain by reducing decorations.

  • Buddhist architecture

    Buddhist architecture is a type of architecture that has sustained its vitality from the 4th century when Buddhism entered Korea to the present day. Therefore, various types have been developed for each period, region, and ideology, and many still remain. Buddhist architecture in Korea is characterized by the fact that it is often located in mountainous areas due to the belief in mountain worship, Feng Shui geography, and the Joseon Dynasty's anti-Buddhism policy. Buddhist architecture flourished in the Goryeo Dynasty, and in the middle of the Joseon Dynasty, it was transformed into a generic temple form, and it was in the later period that the decoration of the building began to look more splendid. The temple architecture that represents Buddhist architecture is composed of a toran (Iljumun, Wangmun, etc.), Buddhist sanctum (Daeungjeon, Geungnakjeon, Muryangsujeon, Myeongbujeon, Sansingak, etc.), monastery, and pagoda. Their composition and arrangement are diverse and systematic as they express the Buddhist worldview.

  • Palace and Government Building Architecture

    The palace architecture, which was formed with the establishment of the ancient country, is a form that combines the royal government facilities and the residence of the royal family. Therefore, the royal power, which was the absolute power, is visually and spatially expressed in the palace. In general, governmental facilities were located in the center of the area in which direct governing acts were conducted, and governmental facilities to assist the kingship and perform royal duties were created in front. The royal residence was located in the rear of the governmental facilities. The government office building was an administrative facility for offices that govern the people, and it was divided by administrative districts and located in the center of the city or around the main street. But most of them have been now lost in the modernization process.