The team of Simplex Architecture, Dongsimwon and studio201 has been selected as the winners of the Yisabu Dokdo Memorial Park International Competition. The international competition asked designers to create a new memorial and monumental park in the city of Samcheok, South Korea, that would tell the story of the voyage undertaken by legendary general Yisabu to the islands of Usanguk and Dokdo in 512 A.D. Located on a 24,600-square-meter site overlooking the Sea of Japan, the project will serve as center of education, experience and tourism while engaging the essential elements of earth and water as well as the five senses.
Titled “Disclosed Nature,” the winning plan aims to highlight the inherent natural qualities of the site, while also integrating in the historic architecture of an existing fire station, temple and community center. The project does this by breaking down the site conceptually into three “natures”: topographical nature (disclosed earth), hydrological nature (disclosed sea), and geographical nature (disclosed regionality).
The “topographical nature” involves excavating the site to reveal the site’s historic topography, conjuring images of how it would have appeared during Yisabu’s journey more than 1,500 years ago. For “hydrological nature,” the architects reintroduce water to the site, again referencing the sea and creating opportunities for education, experience and leisure at the museum and park. Through “geographical nature,” the team aims to celebrate the valuable cultural and historic assets already located on site, improving them through new relationships to the site landscape.
In addition to the overall planning and refurbishment of existing structures, the project introduces four new architectural elements onto the site: the Tourist Information Center, the Yisabu Memorial Hall, the Dokdo Experience Space and the Culture and Art Village.
Serving as the entrance to the new Yisabu Dokdo Memorial Park, the Tourist Information Center will bring visitors along an architectural promenade from street level down into the memorial, as well as provide educational and touristic information.
Located at the end of a serene water garden, the Yisabu Memorial Hall will offer gallery space for educational exhibitions and events. A double-height entrance lobby will welcome in visitors, while a relaxing lounge will give people a space to take in the scenery of the stone plaza.
Across the plaza, two buildings will make up the Dokdo Experience Space where large physical models and historical exhibitions will be displayed. In the North wing, a ramp will lead visitors to a second level where to the exhibitions can be viewed from above. From here, a bridge will connect to the South wing, where a book cafe and multi-purpose space will be located.
The final element, the Culture and Art Village, will be built among an existing series of tightly enclosed volumes with little open space. The architects propose to deconstruct some of the existing walls to create new open spaces while renovating the remaining buildings to become more open and flexible to people and a range of activities.
Learn more about the project and see the full boards for the winning and other finalist entries, here.