Studio Work (2010, Christian Schweitzer Studio, UA / http://suparc.net)
Location : Seochon, Seoul, Korea
Program: Design Museum
Design Period : March, 2010 ~ December, 2010
Design Team: Kangil Ji
Entry of RIBA Presidential Medal, 2011 (http://www.presidentsmedals.com/Entry-28231)
Korea is a mountain-peninsula. In here, the traditional city-making method was fully adapted in this condition; thereby, arable land occupation and urbanization processes are similar. Also, most habitation was made in valleys as a finger-shaped leaf-structure pattern. Therefore, the resultant land lot plan looks different from BAR code shaped western cities (grid, axis), but looks more like a 3-dimensional QR code with more information. Consequential different building heights are another important context. In conclusion, these are crucial factors generating irregular cityscape of Korean cities.
Seo-village, facing mountains defining the old territory of Seoul, has irregular cityscape. Although this landscape looks chaotic at a glance, it also has positive factors which western and contemporary cities do not have: glimpse to hidden buildings, accidentally meeting void spaces, a chance to look at buildings’ facade on curved roads, active use of exterior spaces, etc. These spatial characteristics share common elements with contemporary socialistic theories which seek more complexity and multiplicity. Therefore, amplifying this irregular cityscape through architectural process would reveal hidden context of this place.
Interpretation of context