South Korea may be among the ideal places come live, being among the most occurred countries in the world, among the world’s fastest cultivation economies from 1970s to 1990s, among the most equalized income of the world. Southern Korea overtook Japan in some ways. I love southern Korea more than Japan mostly since of architecture and apartment complexes, the Japanese cities having too plenty of landed houses.

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Chapters: statistics – background – my study – floor to plan – mysteries – about


Despite that capitalist government, south Korea share countless similarities through the communist north Korea, for example economic isolation and also little totally free trade with remainder of world. Castle use greatly locally-made products and foreign suppliers hardly get market re-superstructure there. You rarely see foreign cars control around. Less than 2% usage Google, they use locally-developed search engines and also instead. An additional similarity through communism is the massiveness that apartment blocks, personal developers developed distinct complexes but with identical structures arranged in net all approximately the city.

South Korean society emphasizes the family, not the community, and the apartment style reflect that. Korean developers pay fist to offering best living problems instead that maximizing their very own profits. Apartment blocks space usually 15 to 30 floors and big open spaces in between them, no crowded by developer hungry for profit prefer in various other countries. All systems come with floor heating and high-tech fittings (details below). People hate the appearance of the apartment complex, but love come live in an apartment unit in that complex.

South Korea have the world’s highest broadband internet accessibility per capita and fastest internet speed follow Wikipedia and

I likewise love extensive Seoul Metro system which extends to exterior of Seoul city limits (10 million people) or city area (24 million people), 331.5 kilometres of lines built for metro, to add the Korail lines supplied by metro trains, totaling 1108 km of metro network, longest in the world. Then high-speed KTX trains opened in 2004 the runs at rate up come 300 km/h, going indigenous Seoul to Busan in 2 hours. Incheon global Airport won the best airport award in 2009 and 2012.

Plenty of information about South Korea housing is accessible on internet, but in oriental language. is the very first map company in the civilization that incorporate not just apartment block numbers however also number of floors and also apartment size in square meters. Girlfriend can click on estate name to see number of apartments, year built, transactions v price, and also floor plans. Note: floor locations shown on map are in 95% cases gross floor area and also in 5% situations net floor area, check estate pages to make certain what it i. Naver also have own streetview with much better coverage 보다 Google Street View. Go anyone know when it was launched? I discovered it in 2018, last time I confirm Naver was in 2013 and it wasn’t available.

I deserve to theoretically make a in-depth research-database that calculate number of blocks, units, mean unit size, etc, because that each apartment complex, comparable with HDB database that I made for Singapore, but I will certainly not perform this uneven there is potential of do money. is a oriental site similar with Wikipedia having actually a catalog of apartment complexes, including their history, facts and figures such as apartment size.

Older an approach to uncover floor plans: use, acquire apartment complex name in Korean and put that in Google picture Search, for instance Apgujeong Hyundai Apartment = 압구정동 현대 아파트. has numerous short articles with floor plans, search by facility name. If Wikimapia shows name in English, use Google Translate. Do not make searches in English due to the fact that you will not find much info.

Housing statistics

As 2010, 25,008,212 human being live in high-rise apartments; 15,941,063 in houses; and 4,974,719 in villas, or smaller apartment buildings (source).

South oriental high-rise apartments are one of the best in the world, their size vary indigenous 40 sqm through 1 bedroom to end 300 sqm with 6 bedrooms, majority being in 80-200 sqm range (gross floor area) of i beg your pardon 20-30% room balconies. Seoul have more apartments that larger varieties than nationwide average. Ns noticed a tendency of downsizing follow me recent breakthroughs (2010s) compared with those constructed in 1990s and 2000s.

According (post from 2003): The typical size of one apartment unit in Korea to be measured at 31.8 pyeong (104.9 sqm), virtually 6 pyeong larger than the 25.9 pyeong mean from 13 years ago, a survey confirmed yesterday. The mean size of apartment systems in Seoul pertained to 34.5 pyeong, bigger than the nation’s mean by 2.7 pyeong. 11.6 percent that the surveyed apartment units measured less than 20-pyeong, while 37.1 percent were between 20 pyeong and 29 pyeong. One more 30.6 percent were in between 30 pyeong and also 39 pyeong, when 11.8 percent were between 40 pyeong and 49 pyeong. Finally, 8.8 percent were larger than 50 pyeong.

According, in 2005 mean apartment dimension was 106.43 sqm and also average household size 3.37 persons. Yet same source says that in 2005 were 12,494,827 apartment units, south Korea populace being 47,278,951 according Wikipedia, result 3.78 persons.

Stated floor areas does include wall thickness and also balconies, likewise common balcony at rear of unit in situation of corridor-style apartments, but exclude staircase and lift lobby.

I never discovered statistics around average house size the non-apartment housing.

Many english web page state that korean apartments are roughly 30 and also 50 sqm, yet they space referring in ~ the officetel offered for free for english teachers in Korea, no to real apartments for oriental families.

Korean families are strong and children do not move out until marriage, thus tiny apartments room not needed. Yet my concern is around what space doing the parental after youngsters moved out, do they really need 100 sqm and 3 bedrooms? plenty of apartment complexes do not sell units less than 100 sqm.

South Korea is one of the couple of countries in the human being which had actually a residential building as tallest building: Mok-dong Hyperion (2003, 69 floors) and also Samsung Tower palace G (2004, 73 floors). Many skyscrapers were developed in recent years, Lotte people Tower (554 meters, 123 floors) was completed in 2017.

Apartment complexes that changed the country

Traditional Korean residences are single-storey and have floor heating. 1945 multi-storey structures were tho a rare vision in Seoul. The korean war (1950-1953) destroyed 20% of real estate stock. Most world were life in crowded conditions without sewage and also running water.

The very first apartment facility was developed in 1958 but did not attracted much attention. Mapo apartment complex built from 1961 come 1964 began the revolution. Consisted of 10 six-story buildings and also housed 642 families. The flats to be 9-15 pyeong (30 come 50 square meters). Very couple of Koreans were ready to live at elevation of the 5th and sixth floor. Apart from height, world did not like other features. The early on apartment complexes lacked the traditional floor heating and were warmed by radiators. Mapo apartment was demolished in 1991.

The actual boom that apartment complicated began in the early on 1970s. In 1971 the Banpo apartments came to be the first complicated with traditional heated floors fairly than Western-style radiators, in the first complexes the the heated floors were just in bedrooms yet later the entire living room became boil in this traditional way. This made apartments even more appealing to Koreans.

Jamsil apartments constructed in 1970s was the very first large-scale complex that included schools, parks and also commercial centers, 19180 apartments spread out on 1.5 sq km. Phases 1-4 created by walk-up blocks gift demolished in 2005 and redeveloped, phase 5 with 15-storey block still standing.The 1980s and also 1990s had actually a building and construction boom of extraordinary proportions. 80% that the real estate stock of Korea was built since 1980.

In 1990, just 22.9 percent that Korean family members lived in apartments. Through 2005 this share much more than doubled, 52.5 percent of families were apartment dwellers. Choice for apartments is growing. In a 1992 poll, 41 percent that respondents claimed they would pick to live in apartments, in 2000, 77 percent gave the same answer.

In 2005, the average korean apartment to be 32 pyeong, more than double the dimension of the largest level in the Mapo complex. Korea have actually one the the biggest, if no the biggest apartments in the world!

Note: over rows space sourced indigenous Korea Times. Read original article.

Mapo apartment in 1960s


Jamsil Jugong apartment, photos native 1970s and also 1990s


Jamsil close-up of phase 1-4 (left) and phase 5 (right), an alert open balconies


Jamsil photograph from 2003-2004 once Phase 3 and also 4 were demolished.


My study around Korean housing

Korean windy housing background began in 1962. At this minute I perform not have actually experience to identify public housing from exclusive housing, every looks similar. Exclusive developers are copy your designs each other, there room several species of “perfect” apartments, copy-pasted from one ar to another. Lock pays attention to apartment efficiency rather come land consumption efficiency or layout diversity or distinctive designs.

Construction proportion was slower 보다 urbanization ratio, make Korea to have one the the many expensive real estate prices in 1980s. In 1991 the government realized the cannot fix the housing shortage without adequate supply the land, started the two Million Houses building and construction Project, constructed ratio overtook demand and this preserved prices steadily till today. Aimed come 2012 to with 320 real estate units every 1000 people. Source:, nice research about housing construction.

As having actually a high-tech industry, the country is conquered by high-tech design with steel and also glass buildings. Korean cities, along with Chinese cities, are the many monotonous cities in the world, every city have big apartment complexes v rows that identical buildings without any type of distinctive features. However this contribute to nationwide equilibrium… and I tho love it!

All blocks are narrow and have long apartments, with numerous rooms as feasible on frontal facade. Every blocks have actually the frontal facade oriented to south (or southwest or southeast), with various other words, are not arranged through facades front-to-front and also back-to-back, yet front-to-back. Unequal the western civilization apartments, korean apartments have actually no distinction between day and also night areas, the life room and kitchen-dining room are nearly always inserted in the facility of apartment, while the bedrooms (4 bedrooms in average) are put in each corner to improve privacy. Some 4-room segmented blocks have 30 by 10 meters, all four rooms (living room and also three bedrooms) are oriented to south facade, top top the north facade are located only kitchen, bathrooms, staircase, and lift lobby.

Walls are more than likely load-bearing, I can guess this by lack of hacked wall surfaces in renovating apartments. Rooms space perfectly rectangular with no columns or beams protruding in rooms. Nice!

Apartment sizes to be traditionally quoted in pyeong (1 pyong = 3.3 square meters), including walls and balconies, and also surprising, because that corridor-style block it include the common corridor area. Periodically both floor locations with and also without balconies room displayed. Other than some recent private developers, every apartment dimensions are divisible by 30 cm, most by 90 centimeter too, for instance 2.7×3.6 m and also 3.6×4.5 m bedrooms. This is weird… and is not royal system, due to the fact that 1 feet would certainly be 30.48 cm.

Standard floor to floor height is 2.70 meters, of i beg your pardon floor slab is 20 cm and also many apartments come with false ceiling, for this reason the ceiling height is around 2.4 meters. Doors room tall nearly reaching the ceiling, not like 2 meter doors in west countries.

Government regulate private developers hence they develop apartments in some traditional sizes: 18 py / 59 sqm, 25 py / 84 sqm, 33 py / 109 sqm, 40 py / 133 sqm, 50 py / 165 sqm. Until 1998 were some rules for developers to administer 70% of apartments to it is in under 85 sqm and also 30% under 60 sqm. This brought about an oversupply of small 84 sqm 4-room apartments, so the rule was eliminated (source: yet this preeminence is dubious, I check out many small complexes built in 1990s having all units over 100 sqm). These compact apartments have actually 4 rooms (3 bedrooms, small as 6-7 sqm) and also a solitary bathroom, all in 84 sqm of which balconies are around 20 sqm. In case of the the 3-room (and smaller) apartments, the living room have actually sliding doors come be converted in a third bedroom.

By examining block sizes in satellite photos and Google street view, a very vague estimation about apartment size distribution: 50% 3-bedroom, 30% 4-bedroom, 10% 5-bedroom, much less than 10% 2-bedroom.

In 2003 a programme to boost apartments to be launched, building brand-new rooms and enlarging units, but it was enforced in just couple of cases, read an ext Apartment Remodeling policies in Korea.pdf

Apartment block models

Identify block age by balcony style

All apartments have actually balconies, originally just for life room, but due to the fact that 1980s or 1990s balconies are added at every bedroom, living room and kitchen, so about 20% of complete apartment area is in balconies. They room minimum 1.5 m large for living room and 1.2 m broad for bedroom for this reason in case of small apartments, they add 33% to bedroom size.

Early balconies had actually concrete parapet at bedrooms and also with metal railing at living room, sometimes curved, thus enclosing balconies to be difficult, balconies were continuous without supporting columns other than at end. ~ 1990s or 2000s balconies have actually straight metal rail and also supporting columns to adjust with interior walls to facilitate closure that balconies and also extension the rooms. Balconies are listed open, however in max 1 year end 99% acquire closed through sliding windows, in most cases the rooms are extended to balconies. Couple of open balconies can be still viewed in the old blocks.

A visitor of my website told me that the city authorities regulate the developments by gun floor area ratio, and also the balconies are not counted together gross floor area, so nowadays the developers space building small rooms to fit in pistol floor area limit, apartment floor area is suggested without balconies, while the balconies are noted as bonus space, developers sell to occupants to prolong rooms into balconies because that an extra fee. However in 1990s and also maybe in 2000s also apartment floor area was indicated with balconies included, thus I carry out not totally understand exactly how this legit loophole started.

1970s apartments space composed just by 5-storey walk-up blocks, with distances in between facades the 15-20 meters.

1980s apartments space composted largely by 15-storey blocks, parallel blocks v minimal distance between facades of 40 meters (biggest in the world), but most blocks are placed more away to provide more space because that ground parking, which became not enough throughout 2000s because of rising number of cars. Some staircase-style blocks space L-shaped v 3 or Y-shaped v 4 apartments every floor.

1990s apartments presented blocks aligned in two directions, producing squarish courtyards. Corridor-style blocks are no longer common.

2000s apartments presented underground and multi storey parking, this allowed greater heights choose 20- and 30-storey blocks. Walk-up block still built in short numbers, currently 3-storey only.

Since 1990s every room in korean apartments have actually a balcony choose this. Pretty stupid, isn’t? particularly when the slide door come balcony leader to a very tiny balcony window. The factor for i m sorry the door is still here is that the floor heating was not set up in balcony.


Redevelopment programme

South Korea government pick to redevelop various areas of landed houses and also old apartment complexes, into brand-new apartments. Compared with Singapore whereby many human being are looking to buy old flats intentionally to be redeveloped via SERS programme, in south Korea many human being protest against redevelopment (as told by a visitant of this page).

Residents obtain a compensation based on market prices and also they need to buy themselves a new apartment, i m sorry is regularly unaffordable, new apartments gift bigger and much more luxurious price a lot an ext than the worth of old properties.

Old homes awaiting demolition


Old apartment towns (1970s?)


Newer apartment communities (1990s-2000s)


Brand brand-new apartments, before having all balconies closed


Korean housing is composed by public housing, simple-looking blocks with ground parking (above photos); then part complexes comparable with public real estate in block shape yet featuring underground vehicle parks and wall motifs (did not recognize if they space semi-public or full private housing); then the luxury apartment complexes (below photos), basic to identify due come non-standard block forms and, in most cases, helipad ~ above the roof.

The rest of city is composed by exclusive low-rise individual apartment buildings mixed with single family homes, I execute not recognize the size of these, but according countless Youtube videos make by english teachers in Korea, over there are countless 1-room apartments.



Korean automotive industry had actually the many spectacular expansion of the world. The an initial Korean-built car was Hyundai Pony, introduced in 1975, and also in 2009 south Korea became the fifth automotive manufacturer in the world, and also the very first country in regards to automotive production compared with its population, overtaking Japan, thanks to increased demand in China (source: Wikipedia’s list of nations by car production).

The explode of cars causes a lot of parking problems, clearly shows in this funny picture (the snow proof that even the driveway to be filled through parked cars). We need multi storey auto parks to be included in old apartment complexes, choose in Singapore.


Selection the floor plans and other stuff discovered during mine study

Gaepo Cha Jigu Apartment, constructed 1982 (according the page, more than likely a mistake, it looks like 1970s) is one of the complexes v smallest apartments, varying 35 – 71 sqm, floor plan.

Banpo Apartment constructed early 1970s, contains a rarely 2-storey units, additionally know together maisonette or duplex in brother english (blocks 94 and also 95), view floor plan.

Apgujeong Hyundai Apartment, one of the most luxurious apartment complexes constructed in 1976-1979, v apartments ranging from 108.9 to 213.5 sqm, add to one block with 56 systems of 264.9 sqm 7-bedroom, see floor plan.

Unknown-named estate beside Jamsil, constructed 1979 through units ranging 92 – 212 sqm, consisting of a rare corridor-style apartments v 5 bedrooms 150 sqm (corridor-style is typically for little apartments, max 3 bedrooms), floor plans.

Jamsil Ricenz, built 2008, having actually one the the smallest apartments: 42 sqm 2-room, biggest being 158 sqm, floor plans.

Some apartment on Busan waterfront, systems up to 292 sqm through a weird floor setup having a bedroom lot bigger than understand bedroom, floor plan.

LG subway City, largest apartment facility in Busan, 80 buildings with 7374 units varying 80 – 306 sqm, floor plan.

Things the I never understood

Who is indigenous Korea or have actually some knowledge, please assist me because that the adhering to 4 mysteries:

What’s up through so many rooms? korean apartments have 3-4-5 bedrooms unlike other nations where 3-bedroom is dominant.

See more: Why Does My Youtube Keeps Minimizing Android Keeps Minimizing?

What’s up through the huge balconies? new apartment blocks have actually balconies huge as 20% of total apartment area. Some bedrooms have actually two balconies, in both sides. Some bedrooms room 2.7 x 3.6 m with added 2.7 x 1.8 m balcony (50% more!). Apartment owners conveniently enclose balconies and join with the room… for this reason why the block aren’t listed from begin with less balconies and bigger rooms?

What does support these blocks? I check out both in photos and also floor plan perfect rectangular rooms v NO protruding pillars and also NO beams at the ceiling. This is similar with communist blocks v load-bearing walls however Korean block walls room too thin and I do not think the the weight 30-storey blocks deserve to be supported by load-bearing walls. Oh wait… no earthquakes end 4-5 Richter in Korea.

What is the ceiling height? I read on a website 2.7m, however doors room tall to ceiling and also photos with human being inside shows a lower ceiling. One of two people that civilization are tall, either there is false ceiling, or hmm…


Page released for first time in 2009 and also updated over next years with much more information found by me or noted by visitors. Text written by me ( and images taken indigenous Wikipedia, Panoramio and other websites. Many research been done in 2012-2013 when Google Streetview has been released in Seoul and also Busan, after ~ 2013 i no longer had actually time to study south Korea. A new era of research began in 2018 when I uncovered Do you have advantageous information that worth adding? go you found an error or have actually a inconsistent opinion? leave a comment!