PWFERRETTO, a practice split between London and Seoul, have won second place in a competition to design the National Park and Memorial in the Republic of Korea’s capital. In materialising the boundary of the site into an “active monument” that reconnects the forgotten history of the park into “a memorial for the Catholic martyrs who lost their life fighting for their beliefs,” the design hinges around the site’s constant struggle between belonging and being excluded from the city it is a part of. This paradoxical “inclusive / exclusive” premise is the starting point for the designers’ conceptual approach.
How has the advancement of the Modern Movement design ethos, through geo-political expansion from the Western world, challenged the cultural foundation and aesthetic heritage of Asia?
The 13th International Docomomo Conference, hosted in Asia for the first time, seeks to explore the powerful complexities of expansion and conflict. Examining the effects of the expansion of a Eurocentric design philosophy into distinctly individual, pre-existing yet violently colonized cultures, the organization declares that “conflict is not necessarily a pejorative but…a challenge for the future.”
Construction is well underway for KPF’s Lotte World Tower in Seoul, however the mysterious appearance of sinkholes in the surrounding area – as reported by CNN - has brought on a slew of safety concerns. Authorities have been unable to determine the cause of the sinkholes which have appeared in a number of locations around Seoul’s Songpa District, although they have ruled out sewerage as a possibility. To learn more about the bizarre phenomenon putting the 123-story tower under scrutiny, click here.
With a glittering exterior that benefits both the interior and the exterior, UNStudio’s renovation proposal for Hanwha headquarters has recently won them first place in a competition to redesign the company’s office tower. Located in Seoul, South Korea, the tower is sited in the busy Cheonggyecheon district of the city. The new design will help to visually reestablish Hanwha as a leader in environmental technology, both in Korea and internationally.
Urban farming is nothing new, but Aprilli Design Studio‘s proposal for a completely open-air skyscraper does put a novel spin on the sustainable ideal. Instead of tacking greenery onto roofs and balconies, they incorporate agriculture into cities by dedicating entire buildings to the cause. To learn more about the tree-like design, check out Fast Company’s article here.
Based at the Architectural Association school of Architecture and linked to the Phd research program at UIAV, Saturated Space takes a comprehensive look at the “grammar” and history of colour in architecture, the perceptual and phenomenological principles of colour in relation to the human subject, and the socio-political aspects of colour as a culturally active agent. This article, written by architect and CLOG editor Jacob Reidel, originally appeared as “Powerful Colours” on Saturated Space‘s website, a forum for the sharing, exploration, and celebration of colour in Architecture.
Let’s admit it, architects are suspicious—if not a little scared—of colour. How else to explain the default contemporary architect’s preference for exposed finishes such as concrete, brick, COR-TEN steel, stone, and wood? Perhaps this is because an architect’s choice of applied colour may often seem one of the most subjective—and hence least defensible—decisions to be made over the course of a project.* Indeed, applied colour seldom performs from a technical standpoint, and it is the architect’s taste, pure and simple, which is often on the line whenever a specific colour is proposed to the client. Or perhaps architects’ mistrust of applied colour owes something to the profession’s well-known controlling tendencies and the fact that colour is one of the most mutable aspects of a building; better, we architects are instructed, to focus on “important” and “architectural” decisions such as form, space, materials, program, and organization. Indeed, it is far easier for a future owner to repaint a wall than it is to move it.
The Mapo Oil Depot is a valuable industrial legacy of Seoul but has been forgotten for quite some time since its original purpose was terminated. In an era of economic growth in Korea, a fresh approach is needed regarding this industrial legacy, which, ironically can survive in having been forgotten.
Deviating from conventional attitude, demolishing the old city and constructing the new, it is time to try to keep the memory and history of this old structure and to revive its uniqueness. As an attempt to get back not only the old structure but also the territory having been closed for decades to the people of Seoul, this project will be a meaningful beginning. The competition expects proposals that recover the existing facilities and territory, not only grant a series of programs onto the old structure. In this sense, the organization hopes that the International Competition for Culture Depot Park by Rehabilitating Mapo Oil Depot can show the direction to where architecture in Seoul should go.
The jury includes Toyo Ito, and the winning entry will be awarded with a design contract. Entries can be submitted until August 12. For more information please go to the competition’s official website.
Today marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of OMA’s Prada Transformer. This fantastical temporary structure, erected in 2009 adjacent to Gyeonghui Palace in Seoul, Korea, is one of Rem Koolhaas’ most popular projects to date. Composed of a stark white membrane stretched across four steel frame shapes, The Transformer was often referred to as an “anti-blob” –a hexagon, a rectangle, a cross, and a circle leaning against each other to create a tetrahedron-like object reminiscent of a circus tent. The name Transformer came from the idea that any one of the pavilion’s sides could serve as the building’s floor, allowing for four unique spaces in one building devoted to exhibitions of modern art, fashion and design.
The Prada Transformer played host to four such events, being lifted up and repositioned onto a different face each time via crane. The first was a garment exhibition, displayed using the hexagonal floor plan. The second, a film festival that took place on the rectangular floor plan. A fashion show was staged using the Transformer’s circular floor plan, and an art installation was shown using the cruciform floor plan. As patron Miuccia Prada stated in an interview with The New York Times, “In my mind they [the arts] may be mixed but I want to keep them separate… So the Transformer concept was not for a generic space, but to be very specific, with all things separate in one building.”
We asked OMA’s Vincent McIlduff to tell us more about this project. See his answers, a photo gallery and a time-lapse video of the transformation after the break!