Designers Explore an Entirely New Use for Shipping Containers in Seoul’s Design District

Information kiosk. Image Courtesy of NL Architects

Fashion, design and architecture collide in Zaha Hadid’s recently completed Dongdaemun Design Plaza, one South Korea‘s most popular tourist destinations. Commissioned by the Design Plaza’s Supervisor of Public Space Young Joon Kim of yo2 Architects, the latest development for the plaza is a series of compact kiosks designed to activate the expansive public space surrounding the new building. One of ten teams invited to submit ideas for these new kiosks, Amsterdam-based NL Architects developed a series of impermanent but practical solutions for the plaza. Using new methods for reuse of standard shipping containers, the team proposed a host of kiosks, with two of their designs – an information booth and a miniature space – being accepted for construction.

See all of NL Architects’  Zaha-inspired kiosks after the break

HAEAHN and Haenglim Take Second Place in KOMIPO Power Plant Design Competition

Perspective View. Image Courtesy of HAEAHN

Claiming second place in a recent competition for Korea Midland Power (KOMIPO), HAEAHN Architects, in partnership with Haenglim, have put forth a daring new design that combines power plant and office building. The dual use structure, which will include a park and a restaurant, was conceived as a way of breaking the raw, industrial image of the traditional power plant. In keeping with this idea, the design would be built over and replace Danginlee, the first power plant ever constructed in South Korea. The architects intended for the new plant to commemorate the old, while at the same time attracting more local traffic to the area. See the details of this award-winning design, after the break.

Reflections on the 2014 Venice Biennale

(Central Pavilion): Ceiling. Image © David Levene

Fundamentals, the title of the 2014 Venice Biennale, will close its doors in a matter of days (on the 23rd November). From the moment Rem Koolhaas revealed the title for this year’s Biennale in January 2013, asking national curators to respond directly to the theme of ‘Absorbing Modernity 1914-2014’, there was an inkling that this Biennale would be in some way special. Having rejected offers to direct the Biennale in the past, the fact that Koolhaas chose to act not only as curator but also thematic co-ordinator of the complete international effort, was significant. This announcement led Peter Eisenman (one of Koolhaas’ earliest tutors and advocates) to state in one interview that “[Rem is] stating his end: the end of [his] career, the end of [his] hegemony, the end of [his] mythology, the end of everything, the end of architecture.”

designcamp moonpark dmp Wins Competition for Asan Cultural Arts Center

Courtesy of

designcamp moonpark dmp has won a competition to design the new cultural arts center in Asan, . The winning proposal, inspired by an “Echoing Sculpture,” balances mass and void with two theaters and a cultural arts building that frames a garden and civic waterfront plaza.

More on the winning design, after the break.

SYNWHA Consortium Wins Competition to Design Waterfront Park for Busan North Port

Nomad Park. Image Courtesy of SYNWHA Consulting

The Port Authority (BPA) has named the SYNWHA Consortium winners of an international competition for the Busan North Port Redevelopment in South Korea. The winning proposal is an “Interactive Pier” slated to transform the original port into a cultural center that celebrates the marriage of mountains, river, and sea, while crafting dynamic connections between the city of Busan and its seaside.

Competition Entry: Pedro Livni + Fernando De Rossa’s Proposal for Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium

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Pedro Livni and Fernando De Rossa have shared with us their proposal for the Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium open ideas competition, which was awarded honorable mention. As part of the district’s centennial anniversary, the competition aimed to replace an existing, outdated sports hall with a new gymnasium complex for the local residents of Hyeonpung-myeon neighborhood within the Daegu district of Dalseong-gun.

drozdov&partners were ultimately crowned as winners of the competition, however you can review Pedro Livni and Fernando De Rossa after the break.

Inside Korea’s “Crow’s Eye View” – Golden Lion Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014

Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula. Image © Nico Saieh

Today, the Korean Peninsula provides a striking example of a post-war polarization: two opposite political and economical systems, constantly presented in contrast/conflict by the global media, that still maintain an intricate, complicated relationship. Architecture’s role in this polarization was instrumental. sought to represent the aspirations of a new communist nation within a context devastated after the war — a tabula-rasa from which adaptations of modernism could appear. In South Korea, fast economic growth bred a form of modernization that represented the ideals of a globalized world.

These distinct absorptions of modernity, and the relation between the two neighboring nations, are represented in Korea’s Pavilion in an exhibition called Crow’s Eye View, winner of the Gold Lion at the .  The dense exhibition, commissioned and curated by Minsuk Cho together with Hyungmin Pai and Changmo Ahn, used every corner of the pavilion to represent this subject. The curators invited a multidisciplinary group of architects, urbanists, poets, writers, artists, photographers, film-makers, curators and collectors to demonstrate (to best of their availability, since official cooperation with North Korean institutions proved impossible) the architectural intersections and divisions between North and South Korea.

Recognized by the judges as “research in action,” Crow’s Eye View provided an invaluable addition to a discourse which has been predominantly carried by Western-centric narratives. And it is precisely this that, according to rumors, made it Koolhaas’ favorite pavilion.

Moon Ji Bang Wins Inaugural MMCA Young Architects Program in South Korea

2014: Shinseon Play / Moon Ji Bang. Image Courtesy of MoMA

The Museum of Modern Art and MoMA PS1 has announced a partnership with the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA) in Seoul that has expanded the international Young Architects Program (YAP) to South Korea. Just as YAP presents opportunities for emerging architects to design and build temporary installations in New York, Chile, Rome and Istanbul, YAP Korea will offer the MMCA’s outdoor Museum Plaza as the summer installation site.

Already, a winner has been chosen from 26 submissions to serve as the inaugural YAP Korea installation. With completion planned for July 8, winning team Moon Ji Bang (Threshold) is amidst the final preparations for mystical, mythology-inspired installation that will transcend visitors from the daily hustle into a cloud-like landscape of air balloon structures.

Venice Biennale 2014: Minsuk Cho to Present “Crow’s Eye View” of Divided Korea

Kim Il-sung Square, Pyongyang, 2010 © Philipp Meuser

Minsuk Cho of MASS Studies, commissioner and curator of the Korean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, has announced that he will be responding to director Rem Koolhaas’ theme Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014 with an focused on the architecture of divided Korea. With the Crow’s Eye View: The Korean Peninsula, Cho will present the architecture of North and South Korea as “an agent – a mechanism for generating alternative narratives that are capable of perceiving both the everyday and the monumental in new ways.”

The full curatorial statement, after the break…

eVolo Skyscraper Winner 2014 Transforms Korean ‘Hanok’ Into Impressive High-Rise

Visualisation. Image © Yong Ju Lee

Vernacular Versatility, recently awarded first place in the 2014 eVolo Skyscraper Competition, seeks to adapt traditional Korean architecture into a contemporary mixed-use high-rise. The vernacular design of the Hanok, the “antonym of a western house” and epitome of the Korean style, has disappeared from every town. Extensive urban development in the 1970s led to a boom in modern apartment dwellings and, consequently, a loss of established Korean vernacular architecture. Yong Ju Lee’s proposal aims to reimagine the Hanok in one of the country’s busiest districts, drawing people’s attention to and stimulating their interest in traditional architecture with the intention that “it will eventually be absorbed into people’s everyday lives”

Ga On Jai / IROJE KHM Architects

© Jong Oh Kim

Architects: IROJE KHM Architects
Location: Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, South
Architect In Charge: HyoMan Kim
Design Team: Kyung Jin-Jung, SeungHee-Song, SuKyung-Jang, JiYeon-Kim, EunJin-Sin, HyeJin-Kim, WooSin-Sim
Area: 329.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Sergio Pirrone, Jong Oh Kim, Jeong Sik Mun

Winning Entry for New Pottery Museum in South Korea / PWFERRETTO + UTOP

Courtesy of PWFERRETTO

Seoul-based architectural firms, PWFERRETTO + UTOP, were recently selected winners of a competition commissioning a new pottery museum in the Goheung region of South Korea. The winning entry extends the museum experience throughout the 97,000 square meter site and is organized around four concepts, “genius loci, traditional village, landmark roof and nature journey.”

IT Convergence Building / Kyu Sung Woo Architects

© Goongsun Nam

Architects: Kyu Sung Woo Architects
Location: ,
Principal Architect: Kyu Sung Woo, FAIA
Project Architects: Kyoung Eun Kwon, Vital Albuquerque
Area: 26,023 sqm
Photographs: Goongsun Nam, Won Yang Kim

Velo Towers / Asymptote Architecture

Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture

Asymptote‘s Velo Towers, designed for the Yongsan master plan in Seoul, , are formed by vertical cluster of cylindrical volumes which were strategically stacked and rotated to maximize views, privacy and environmental conditions. Consisting of eight distinct residential components, each cluster is carefully choreographed to establish a strong visual connection with the adjacent Yongsan Park and distant Han River. These clusters are complimented by a series of roof gardens, shared amenities and internal circulation spaces centered around light filled open atriums.

Sejong Center for Performing Arts / Asymptote Architecture

Night View (Front). Image Courtesy of Asymptote Architecture

New York based Asymptote Architecture have unveiled designs for a new Centre of Performing Arts in Sejong, South Korea. Described as celebrating “the cities emergence and growth as a place of stature and culture,” the arts centre is designed to “seamlessly connect to the city fabric.” Containing two theaters, the program of the building has been designed to create a unified experience, allowing for a “powerful and ‘episodic’ interiority and experience.”

Incheon International Airport – Terminal 2 / Gensler

Courtesy of

A few days ago, Korea‘s Incheon International Airport broke ground on its latest addition, Terminal 2. Gensler, in collaboration with the HGMY Consortium, designed the $2.5 billion project that will double the size of the country’s busiest airport with its 72 gates and 7.4 million square feet of space. The project includes a second airport control tower, train station, parking facilities and an airside Intra Airport Transit (IAT).

Keep reading for the architects’ description.

Honeybee Lounge / poly.m.ur

© Kyungsub Shin

Architects: poly.m.ur
Location: ,
Design Team: Seungjun Oh, Sunki Whang, Jaeho Song, Hyunju Lim, Jiin Kim
Area: 208.02 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Kyungsub Shin, Megabox

Magok Central Plaza Winning Proposal / Wooridongin Architects

Courtesy of Wooridongin Architects

Located in the intersection of the pedestrian axis of Festival Street within the heart of Magok city in , the competition winning proposal by Wooridongin Architects for the Magok Central Plaza weaves itself into the surrounding city. The plaza is a great traffic node since it is where the subway lines 5, 9 and Airport train cross. Its close location to Han River greenery and ecosystem aligning with the River, Jungang Park and Green Area Connectors makes it to be part of a continuous open space system. More images and architects’ description after the break.