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.

PWFERRETTO Propose an Active Monument as Seoul's Seosomun Memorial Park - More Images+ 18

Aerial View. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects

Being relatively isolated from its immediate urban fabric on all four sides of its perimeter - with rail tracks, an elevated highway, a built-up complex and, finally, a arterial street - the "boundary is not that which stops, but is that from which something begins its presence."

Chapel. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects

For the designers, by "materializing the boundary into a physical threshold we both commemorate the history of the site and at the same time create an isolated enclave, a place for all to find their inner peace; a place where absence creates a new form of contemporary public space, detached from commercial and superficial events and connected to both nature and history."

The boundary subsequently becomes a permeable wall for citizens to both engage and contemplate. As well as accommodating the main circulation arteries and functional services the wall also houses two forms of memorials that generate the park’s identity:

  • 44 Martyrs: the first memorial is connected specifically to the 44 martyrs who died in Sosumun Park between 1801 and 1866.  Each martyr is represented by a six metre high column supporting a canopy above, which are layout across the whole length of the wall as to create a spiritual journey of remembrance.  The stone rectangular columns have a bronze abstract cast piece embedded into the structure commemorating the specific martyr.
  • 14 Stations of the Cross: the second monumental element is a series of fourteen chapels that represent in the form of a spatial manifestation Jesus’ 14 Stations of the Cross.  Like the columns they are scattered around the whole perimeter of the site.

Model. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects
Model. Image Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects
  • Competition

    Seosomun Memorial Park, Seoul
  • Award

    Second Place
  • Architects

    PWFERRETTO in collaboration with ESOU Architects
  • Location

    Seoul, South Korea
  • Design Team

    Peter W. Ferretto, Keunyoung Ryu, Seungyeol Choi, Heeyoung Pyun, Pia Mendaro, Ander Ibarra, Christina Lee
  • Collaborators

    Hyunsu Kim, Youngju An
  • Photographer

    Byeong Gon Shin
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

    Courtesy of PWFERRETTO / ESOU Architects
  • Area

    50000.0 m2

Winning Entry for New Pottery Museum in South Korea

UTOP, were recently selected winners of a competition commissioning a new pottery Seoul-based architectural firms, PWFERRETTO 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."

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Cite: James Taylor-Foster. "PWFERRETTO Propose an "Active Monument" as Seoul's Seosomun Memorial Park" 25 Aug 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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