Inside Architecture 101's Cafe de Seoyeon


Jeju Island is littered with film locations (Daejangguem, Chuno, Boys Before Flowers) and one of the places I visited was the famous "Seoyeon's House," which was featured in the popular Korean movie, Architecture 101 (건축학개론).   The movie was a pretty big hit and had a star-studded cast, so I was quite excited to check it out.

Turns out that the house was specifically built for the film and actually located in Jeju, just like in the film. After filming concluded, the house was turned into a cafe - Cafe de Seoyeon. Unfortunately, in August 2012, a typhoon destroyed most of the house and while it was rebuilt in the same spot following the same blueprints, it's NOT the exact same house where all the filming was done.

Left: Jeju coastline in front of the Cafe.
Top right: Beginning of the road leading to Seoyeon's Cafe (sigh on the left).
Bottom right: Handprints of actors in the Cafe.

The Cafe is along the coast in a very small town in Seogwipo, the southern part of Jeju.  I wouldn't say it is in the middle of nowhere, but it's not easy to get to, especially if you are going by bus. However, I gotta say the coastline is gorgeous, dotted with Jeju's famous volcanic rocks.

Credits for picture on the left.

And there it is - the famous house. It is indeed located right on the coast, but one thing that you don't see in the movie is that how close all the other residential homes are to it.  It takes away a lot of the allure, honestly.

As I said before, the reconstruction is a little different from the original house in the film. You can see that in the new cafe, they added a second floor, a railing around the grass roof, and got rid of the signature Korean style tile roof (a pity). You can't see it very well, but they also made significant changes to the entrance. The door is narrower and the wood paneling does not wrap around the corner of the house or extend out to make a cozy alcove, like the original house.


See? In the original house, the wood paneling extended out past the edges of the house to create a semi-enclosed entrance. Now the wood paneling is just tacked on front for show :\

They also walled off the property and did a lot of landscaping.

On the left is a screenshot from the movie; on the right, how it looks today.

You can tell they shortened the hallway (where the clock used hang in the original house).  I dunno, but little changes like that drive me crazy.

Left: From the film.
Right: How it is in 2014.

Also, they added rails to the grass covered roof...too much of an insurance liability otherwise, I suppose.  The view is just as lovely though.

The food wasn't half bad, I really enjoyed the cupcake.  It was hard getting seats because there were SO many people - not even just tourists, a lot of Jeju people were coming to check it out too.

Another thing that irritated me was that the window pane sizes were changed.  Now, they're narrower and it looks more jail-like than the original. Nonetheless, that didn't stop me from taking a picture in front of the famous window :) Didn't turn out quite the same though :P

World's most dedicated boyfriend/photographer.
Saw this couple walking ALL the way out to the edge of the coast to do a literal photoshoot.

Overall, I was a little disappointed by the House/Cafe.  It drove me a little crazy seeing how they didn't stay true to the original house in the reconstruction and it was very much a tourist trap.  Honestly, unless you have someone guide you there, I don't recommend taking too much time out of your schedule to find this place.

The only truly beautiful thing about the house was the coastline in front of it.  THAT actually looks better in real life than on film.

Seoyeun’s House: Seogwipo-si, Namwon-eup, Wimi-1-ri, 2975, Jeju-do (+82-64-764-7894)


  1. The view does look gorgeous even though they didn't recreate the house to original form - blech I'm sorry

  2. I miss your blog posts!! :( Hope you've been well!

  3. Lucky u.hope to be there someday


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