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Korea: The Latest Architecture and News

Young Joon Kim of Yo2 Architects on Rethinking Contemporary Seoul

Seoul is considered one of the most densely-populated and over-priced cities in the world, reaching a staggering $ 80,000 per square meter. The extreme conditions of the city have forced local architects to operate, design, and build framing the city's urban issues, traditions, and history. This approach by architects has created the theoretical basis of "The Condition of Seoul Architecture", a publication by multidisciplinary practice TCA Think Tank exhibited in the last Seoul Biennale, which sees the point of view of 18 innovative South Korean architects.

In this interview, Pier Alessio Rizzardi, founder of the practice, interviewed Young Joon Kim of Yo2 Architects, City Architect of Seoul, professor at MIT and Seoul National University, and curator of the Seoul Biennale. The atelier focuses on the creation of new architectural solutions using an urbanistic approach to architecture based on the complexity of contemporary life in Seoul.

Low Cost House / JYA-RCHITECTS

© Hwang Hyochel © Hwang Hyochel © Hwang Hyochel © Hwang Hyochel + 11

Jangheung-gun, South Korea
  • Architects: JYA-RCHITECTS
  • Area Area of this architecture project Area: 100.8
  • Year Completion year of this architecture project Year: 2013

Open Call for Architects: Daegu Kansong Art Museum International Design Competition

(1) Competition Title
Daegu Kansong Art Museum International Design Competition

(2) Purpose
As the first domestic permanent exhibition space of the Kansong Art Museum,
the Daegu Kansong Art Museum is expected to serve not only as an archive of
our national cultural heritage, but also as a national cultural landmark. Hence,
it is the aim of this design competition to select an exceptional design for the

(3) Competition Type
In an open call for architects to be commissioned (commissioned architects)
to participate in this project, local and overseas architects are eligible to apply.
Three teams will be selected; they will join 3 other teams (1 local team; 2
overseas teams), composed

Restoration of Abandoned Church Connects Man, Nature, and God

Changtteul Church, is an old place of worship in Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, that gets its name from the term "changtteul", meaning "a frame containing a window", in Korean. As its name suggests, the building's character lies in its series of windows, giving the visitors both outside and inside a unique experience of light and scenery.

Designers Hanyoung Jang and Hanjin Jang of studio minorormajor utilized the windows of Changtteul as a metaphorical motif for their design concept: the first being the 'window between man and God', and the second being ‘the window between man and nature’, immersing the abandoned religious facility with dramatic experiences.

© studio minorormajor © studio minorormajor © studio minorormajor © studio minorormajor + 20

Seoul's Celebration of Architecture and the City Wraps up

Text provided by MasilWIDE. The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism was held for about two months, came to an end in great success on November 10. First carried out in 2017 under the theme of 'Imminent Commons', the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (hereinafter Seoul Biennale) gathered 450,000 people in the first year and marked the beginning of the Seoul Biennale. This year, the much-expanded scale and interest of people were able to be seen as the attendance numbers of the first year was already exceeded in October, at the height of the Biennale.

Buddhist Monasteries and Spain's Islamic Palace-City Among 19 New Sites Added to UNESCO's World Heritage List

© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain
© Council for Inscription of Buddhist Mountain

After carefully deliberating in their annual session, UNESCO's World Heritage Committee selected 19 new sites to inscribe on the World Heritage List in the city of Manama in Bahrain. Featuring 13 cultural sites such as Buddhist mountain monasteries in Korea, the industrial city of Ivrea in Italy, and the Caliphate city of Medina Azahara in Spain, alongside three natural sites and three mixed sites (classified as both cultural and natural heritage), the list now aggregates to 1092 sites in 167 countries.

From the historical Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul to the contemporary city of Brasilia orchestrated by Oscar Niemeyer, the World Heritage List has continuously exhibited varied examples of architecture and urban planning from different eras and movements from around the world. Amongst the new additions, there are several sites of religious importance, city organization, and natural conservation.

© Madinat al-Zahra Archaeological Site (CAMaZ)/M. Pijuán © IPOGEA © DAI/Göbekli Tepe Project © Förderverein Welterbe an Saale und Unstrut/Guido Siebert + 15

Winning Design Revealed for New Complex Around Seoul’s Olympic Stadium

Built before the 1988 Summer Olympics, the Seoul Olympic Stadium in the Korean capital city’s Songpa District remains an active and treasured institution. Designed by Kim Swoo-geun, the stadium represents a significant moment in Korea’s modern history and remains a venue for large concerts and the home of Seoul E-Land FC.

While the Olympic Stadium itself will stand visibly intact in its original form, this spring the Korea National Urban Planning Association staged a competition for a new design of the Jamsil Sports Complex, which includes several sporting venues and buildings adjacent to the stadium, as well as almost 160,000 square meters of total area. Following the deadline earlier this month, the jury has announced NOW Architects in collaboration with NBBJ and SAMOO, as the winners of the competition.

Courtesy of NOW Architects Courtesy of NOW Architects Courtesy of NOW Architects Courtesy of NOW Architects + 12

Shortlist Released for 2018 Young Talent Architecture Award

The Fundació Mies van der Rohe has announced a list of 40 projects that will compete for the Young Talent Architecture Award (YTAA) 2018. The award was established in 2016 to “support the talent of recently graduated Architects, Urban Planners and Landscape Architects who will be responsible for transforming our environment in the future,” and joins the Foundation's European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award “in promoting high quality work amongst emerging and established architects through the acknowledgement of the value of good buildings.”

More than 330 projects were submitted from over 118 European, Chinese, and Korean architecture schools, which were narrowed down to a shortlist of 40 projects by an esteemed jury of architects and curators. The YTAA 2018 exhibition is a collateral event at the Venice Biennale, opening on May 24th at the Palazzo Mora, where 12 finalists will be announced. The names of the four winning schemes will become known on June 28th.

Agua Espraida Urban Integration / Beatrice Gevi from University of Genoa. Image via YTAA - Young Talent Architecture Award Benevolent Scarring / Sean William Murphy from University of Limerick. Image via YTAA - Young Talent Architecture Award Between the Limit and the Trench / Margarita Zakynthinou-Xanthi, Elena Mylona, Zoi Tzoundidou from National Technical University of Athens. Image via YTAA - Young Talent Architecture Award Build to make a change / Francesca Vittorini from Marche Polytechnic University. Image via YTAA - Young Talent Architecture Award + 41

Call for Entries: International Competition for Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Headquarter Building

International Competition for Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Headquarter Building

1. Competition Goal
The purpose of the competition for Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education Headquarter Building is to create a comfortable and convenient working environment by securing appropriate office spaces and providing the Education Hub Space that may embrace the ideas and dreams of the Seoul educational families for the future education in Seoul.

2. Project Outline
● Location : 27, Duteopbawi-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
● Site Area : 13,214.2㎡
● Building Area : 39,967㎡
● Construction Cost (Estimated): \100,689,000,000 KRW (surtax incl.)
● Design Fee (Estimated): \5,081,000,000 KRW (surtax incl.)
● Design Period: 360

Asif Khan Unveils 'Darkest Building on Earth' For Winter Olympics Pavilion

Asif Khan's Vantablack pavilion, the world's first super-black building, will open at the PyeongChang 2018 Opening Ceremony on 9 February 2018.

The Olympic pavilion is coated with Vantablack VBx2 carbon nanotubes and illuminated by thousands of tiny white light rods. These rods extend from the structure's parabolic super-black facade and create the illusion of a field of stars suspended in space. Looking at the building will be the closest experience to looking into space from a point on Earth.

© Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes © Luke Hayes + 11

1,500 Semi-Transparent Plastic Baskets Form a Lightweight Facade

Hyunje Joo's design for a façade in South Korea is a proposal that addresses the separation between the interior and exterior with the construction of a flexible, light, and recyclable architectural element.

The project, a surface made up of 1,500 semi-transparent plastic baskets, diffuses the light and the silhouettes, while offering the ability to be reused with different configurations in different places.

Open Call for a Swiss Room in Seoul

A Swiss Room to Showcase Lausanne’s Candidature to organize the 28th UIA Congress.

The challenge posed by this competition is to design a place object which encapsulates the ideas behind the topic of “Architecture and Water”. It involves creating a place to showcase Lausanne’s Candidature which offers an intuitive approach to the multiple ramifications of this topic. It should, effectively, act as a laboratory of ideas. This place-object must be able to house a table and 4 chairs for discussions, presentation of the candidature, etc. It will be located in the hall of the Convention center in Seoul.

12 Dynamic Buildings in South Korea Pushing the Brick Envelope

Bricks are as old as the hills. An enduring element of architectural construction, brick has been a material of choice as far back as 7000BC. Through the centuries, bricks have built ancient empires in Turkey, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Exposed stock brick came to define the Georgian era, with thousands of red brick terraces still lining the streets of cities such as London, Edinburgh and Dublin.

Today, brick is experiencing a Renaissance. Architectural landmarks across the world such as Frank Gehry’s Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Sydney and the Tate Modern Switch House by Herzog & de Meuron are pushing the proverbial brick envelope, redefining how the material can be used and perceived.

South Korea presents an interesting case for the changing face of brick, with a preference for dark, grey masonry striking a heavy, brutalist, yet playful tone. Like many countries, South Korean brick architecture has questioned conformity, experimenting with stepped, perforated, permeable facades, and dynamic, curved, flowing walls. Below, we have rounded up 12 of their most interesting results.

Korean Curiosity: Is Seoul Experiencing a "Neo-Brutalist Revival"?

© Raphael Olivier
© Raphael Olivier

During his frequent travels to Seoul, Hong Kong- and Singapore-based photographer Raphael Olivier noticed a new trend taking the South Korean capital: a crop of geometric, concrete buildings of all genres. He calls the new style Neo-Brutalism, after the modernist movement that proliferated in the late 1950s to 1970s, in which raw concrete was meant to express a truth and honesty. Olivier's observation led him to capture the phenomenon in a personal photo series—a photographic treasure trove of these projects which, when taken as a whole, uncovers a cross-section of this trend in the city's architecture.

© Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier © Raphael Olivier + 19

UIA 2017 Seoul World Architects Congress

The UIA (International Union of Architects) world congresses are a premier forum for professionals and future leaders in the field of architecture to exchange the best and latest practices, visions and first-hand experience. The UIA 2017 Seoul, in particular, will promote various innovative architectural techniques and technologies among member sections and global citizens. In doing so, academic programs, exhibitions, competitions, student activities, and public outreach programs will simultaneously take place.


This Underground Bathhouse on the Korean Border Questions Architecture's Role in Geopolitical Tension

Since 1953, the 160-mile (260 kilometer) strip of land along the Korean Peninsula's 38th parallel has served as a Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea. The DMZ is more than a border; it's a heavily guarded, nearly four-mile-wide (6 kilometer) buffer zone between the two countries. Each military stays behind its own country's edge of the zone, perpetually awaiting potential conflict, and access to the interior of the zone itself is unyieldingly limited. Apart from the landmines and patrolling troops, the interior of the DMZ also holds thriving natural ecosystems that have been the subject of studies on what happens when wildlife is allowed to flourish in the absence of human contact.

In a competition that asked participants to design an underground bathhouse near the Kaesong Industrial Park, a (currently suspended) cooperative economic project that employs workers from both North and South Korea, research initiative Arch Out Loud imagined a DMZ that accommodates non-military structures that are typically seen as out of place in areas of such sensitivity and tension. The winning proposal by Studio M.R.D.O and Studio LAM utilizes the performative element of a bathhouse, where visitors are both audience members and actors, to the address the tensions—both geopolitical, from its surrounding environment, and personal, from the related emotions visitors carry with them—between both groups.

Design Competition for Hanyangdoseong Museum (Hoehyeon Section on Namsan Mountain)

Seoul Metropolitan Government announces a call for entry as below for the architectural design competition aimed to foster Hanyangdoseong On-site Museum in the Hoehyeon Section at the Foot of Namsan Mountain.

Borders - The Korean Demilitarized Zone Underground Bath House

The border between North and South Korea is not just a symbolic line dividing the two countries. It is a high tensioned zone not freely entered or explored. arch out loud is excited to announce their international open-ideas competition, Borders - The Korean Demilitarized Zone Underground Bath House, which will explore the implications of border conditions.