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My aim is to have symmetrical single-sided-looking pages (same margins left and right) but have footers whose content moves according to whether it is a odd- or an even-numbered page. (On odd pages the page number should be on the right, on even pages on the left.)

I'm using KOMA's scrartcl with fancyhdr.

Is there a clean or compact way to achieve this result?

I tried using \AtBeginDocument{\KOMAoptions{twoside=false}} and this correctly sets the margins to those of the the one-sided layout, but the footers also switch to the one-sided style.

I'd avoid manually forcing the geometry of the page. KOMA does an excellent job and I don't want to override it.

How can I achieve this hybrid?

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KOMA has what you want: the option semi. This is described in the manual (page 41 for the 3.25 version) as:

In addition to the values in table 2.5, you can also use the value semi. This value results in two-sided printing with one-sided margins and one-sided, that is non-alternating, marginal notes. Beginning with KOMA - Script version 3.12, binding corrections (see BCOR, page 33) will be part of the left margin on odd pages but part of the right margin on even pages. But if you switch on compatibility with a prior version of KOMA - Script (see section 2.5, page 32), the binding correction will be part of the left margin on both pages while using twoside=semi.

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