The floor structure in Korean folk housing can be classified into three types such as the ondol
floor, the dirt floor, and the wooden floor. Among them, the ondol
, which is the traditional floor heating system in Korea, becomes a common element to be used in the bedroom. On the other hand, the wooden floor is not necessarily an indispensable element, although it is given an important position in the middle or the large size house. This wooden floor has been i hought to have been developed as the living space for summer life especially in the southern part, and to have been originated from the raised floor construction, or the pile dwellingso-call ed, in the southern culture. In fact, however, we can observe some different tendency there. Major points of the regional characteristics of wooden floor rooms in Korean houses are summarized as follows :
South of the central part of the Korean Peninsula, the wooden floor part occupies actually a considerable area in the whole floor of the house. It is rather in the central part, however, that the wooden floor room is used as an open living space for summer life. On the contrary, one can often observe it to be used only as a closed storeroom for grain and a sacred space for household deity in the southern part where it gets hotter and more humid in summer.
In Cheju island, located south of the southern coast of the Korean Peninsula, the wooden floor room becomes a living space as well as in the central part. The name of the wooden floor room and its use for ritual ceremony in Cheju houses, however, differ obviously from those in the central part. Moreover, the floor height of wooden floor room is considerably lower in Cheju Island than in the main land. Therefore, it seems difficult to identify the wooden floor rooms in all part of Korea uniformly with the original raised floor construction in the southern culture.
In Cheju Island, where the ondol
system was introduced much later than the main land, the wooden floor room may have been established as a partial conversion of the original dirt floor dwelling but not as a traditional way of the pile dwelling in the southern culture. On the other hand, the raised wooden floor room in the main land may be supposed to be developed in the floor plan through the rising process of the floor accompanied by the introduction of the ondol
system which has underfloor flues through which the hot smoke flows.
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