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Planning Korea Designs Resort Hotel for PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics

Seoul-based architecture and art practice Planning Korea has unveiled their design for a seaside resort hotel, to host visitors to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Offering 946 rooms and sprawling across a 29,493-square-meter site, the hotel will offer a combination of marine and mountain leisure activities. 

Courtesy of Planning Korea Courtesy of Planning Korea Courtesy of Planning Korea Courtesy of Planning Korea

Open Call: Competition to Re-Structure Seoul's Seunsangga Citywalk

The objective of the "Re-Structuring Seunsangga Citywalk" competition in Seoul is to renovate the deck and nearby public space of Seunsangga Complex to improve the pedestrian environment and connect with surrounding areas of various nature and thereby re-establish a pedestrian axis from north to south through Bukaksan Mountain, Jongmyo~Seunsangga Complex, and Namsan Mountain. Not only is Seunsangga Complex Seoul's "urban-architectural heritage," it is a compound of history, culture and industry that connects the surrounding area and various activities.

Yoon Space Design's Egg-Shaped Beach Pod Offers Shelter in Unexpected Places

It’s a beach shelter like you have never seen before: meet Albang, the relaxation pod of the future, an oval space with a flexible interior plan optimized for sleeping, socializing, or relaxing. In Albang, located in Gangwon-do province on South Korea's coastline, aerodynamics, vivid colour, and clever design meet minimalist futuristic architecture. Realized by Korean firm Yoon Space Design, Albang was designed to replace traditional means of temporary habitation, blending the functionality of pod hotels with the efficiency of a simple tent for camping.

Enter Albang's flexible and colourful ovoid pods after the break 

© Gimyoun Song © Gimyoun Song © Gimyoun Song © Gimyoun Song

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

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 exhibition space - being accepted for construction.

See all of NL Architects'  Zaha-inspired shipping container kiosks after the break

Courtesy of NL Architects Information kiosk. Image Courtesy of NL Architects Information kiosk. Image Courtesy of NL Architects Courtesy of NL Architects

Studio Origin Represents Seoul in the UIA 2014 World Congress

This year’s UIA World Congress was held in Durban, South Africa, and saw the participation of many well-respected firms. Representing South Korea were Kang Jun Lee and Yung A Kim of Studio Origin, whose pavilion highlighted the city of Seoul. Meant to herald the city as the host for the 2017 World Congress, their carefully arranged design offers space for a number of different promotional displays. See the details on this unique structure, after the break.

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

The Busan 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.

Open Air Market Street. Image Courtesy of SYNWHA Consulting Urban Pier. Image Courtesy of SYNWHA Consulting Urban Core. Image Courtesy of SYNWHA Consulting Harbor Block Garden. Image Courtesy of SYNWHA Consulting

"Seoul: Towards a Meta-City" Exhibition Opens in Berlin

On Thursday, the Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB) Metropolitan Laboratory hosted a symposium to mark the opening of the exhibition "Seoul: Towards a New City," in collaboration with the City of Seoul. The city has identified three key objectives to help them strike a balance between restoration and change when moving forward with future development: revival of history, restoration of nature, and renewal of people's lives. Seven projects that reflect these goals are on display at the exhibition. For more details, continue reading after the break.

PWFERRETTO Propose an "Active Monument" as Seoul's Seosomun Memorial Park

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.

Church Interior. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects View of the Church and main Plaza. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects Sunken Plaza. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects Model. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects

"Expansion and Conflict": 13th International Docomomo Conference 2014

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?

KPF's Lotte World Tower Jeopardized by Mysterious Sinkholes

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.

Olson Kundig Designs Rooftop Play Space in South Korea

© Olson Kundig Architects
© Olson Kundig Architects

In collaboration with client Shinsegae, Olson Kundig Architects has designed a 20,000 square foot roof garden in Uijeongbu, South Korea.  Sitting atop the ninth floor of a twelve story department store, the park acts as a playground for children and a cultural center for the community.  The project follows a rising trend: placing green spaces on top of buildings in urban areas to create safe and secluded public places.  This particular garden uses entirely native species and incorporates sculptures by the artist Do-Ho Suh.

© Olson Kundig Architects © Olson Kundig Architects © Olson Kundig Architects © Olson Kundig Architects

Tree-Like Skyscraper Takes Urban Farming to Next Level

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.

Dalseong Citizen’s Gymnasium International Competition

The Daegu Architectural Culture Confederation (DACC) recently announced an international ideas competition to design the new gymnasium complex for the city of Dalseong, South Korea. 

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

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. North Korea 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 Venice Biennale 2014.  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.

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

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

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.

International Competition for Rehabilitating Mapo Oil Depot into a Cultural Depot Park

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.

Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port International Competition

BPA (Busan Port Authority) has just announced an international competition for the Waterfront Park Master Plan of the Busan North Port, South Korea. The deadline for registration is June 10. To download all the necessary requirements to participate in the competition, please go to the official website.

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

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"

© Yong Ju Lee Model. Image © Yong Ju Lee Model. Image © Yong Ju Lee Visualisation. Image © Yong Ju Lee