Hanok is a term to describe Korean traditional houses. Korean architecture lends consideration to the positioning of the house in relation to its surroundings, with thought given to the land and seasons.
The interior structure of the house is also planned accordingly. This principle is called Baesanimsu (; Hanja:背山臨水), literally meaning that the ideal house is built with a mountain in the back and a river in the front. Baesanimsu utilizes the ondol heated rock system, a heating system unique to South Korea, during cold winters and a wide daecheong front porch for keeping the house cool during hot summers.
Houses differ according to region. In the cold northern regions of Korea, houses are built in a closed square form to retain heat better. In the central regions, houses are 'L' shaped. Houses in the southernmost regions of Korea are built in an open 'I' form. Houses can also be classified according to class and social status.