Modification at!

Dear readers,

Today, a slight modification was done to the website: the contributors page is gone! In an effort to make this site more opened to discussion and article posting, we have decided to get rid of the “contributor” status. We felt that it led to a latent hierarchy which could deter potential writers from expressing their point of view on our website. We now hope that within the next few months, a wide array of people from different backgrounds will come and express their thoughts on Korean architecture.

The texts are not grouped by author’s name anymore, but by categories of subject. This explains why the “contributors” button at the top of the page has been changed to a “categories” button. That being said, if you are interested in reading the article of a specific author, you can still do so by clicking on his/her name on the right side of the page.

On this note, let’s start posting and sharing information on Korean architecture!

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The Korean Gallery at the Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden

Architect Doojin Hwang+DJHA designed the Korean Gallery at the Museum of far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden. With the working theme ‘Uniquely Intimate’, the design responded to both Korean and Swedish cultural traditions.
The general layout of the Korean Gallery was inspired by the Yun Tak Residence in Haenam, Korea. Juxtaposition, penetration and transition were the key concepts in creating a nonlinear, asymmetrical space, analogous in spatial experience to traditional Korean villas and gardens. DJHA decided to preserve the existing exposed wooden beams, respecting the museum building’s historical monument status, and sought to create an ideal environment for enjoying the delicate and understated Korean artworks and artifacts by introducing filtered and reflected light coming from three windows covered with Korean mulberry paper and the ceiling above the beams. DJHA also placed a few built-in benches on which visitors can sit and look at the objects at the eye level of floor sitting.

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Global vs Local: the Case of Contemporary Architecture in Twenty-First Century Korea

       As I was concluding my last article (cf.: Architecture as the Built Form of Colonial Ambitions), I hinted at the Korean national architectural identity currently being molded by today’s work from Korean architects. Parallel to that development, there is also a reality more and more present in Korea that is hard to look over: the influx of international architects.

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2011 in review!

Dear readers,

According to WordPress’ statistics for 2011, the website was viewed over 3500 times since its reopening last August. People from all over the world visited the site. It is thanks to the eight talented and devoted contributors who believe in the power of writing and to readers like you that such a thing is possible. Thank you!

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Architecture as the Built Form of Colonial Ambitions

              During his February 2003 TED Talk, On Modern and Romantic Architecture, Reed Kroloff defined architecture as the “built form of our cultural ambitions”. [2] Derived from this statement, the title of this article puts forth an interesting point of view on an important period of Korean history. Anyone interested in the 20th century history of Korea soon learns that, from 1910 to 1945, the country was a colony of the Japanese empire. During that period, a lot of negative things happened and one of the most effective forms of propaganda for the Japanese coercion over the Korean people was through architecture. They used different techniques to show their superiority and though now destroyed, the Government General of Korea Building (Chungang Chong – 중앙청), by German architect Georg De Lalande, was one of the best examples of that built coercion.

Picture taken before the building’s destruction; barely nothing could be seen of Gyeongbok Palace. [A]

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Structuring Emptiness – Book Review

Structuring Emptiness presents two Korean architects, Seung H-Sang and Min Hyun-Sik. They both became famous as members of the 4.3 Group who published a manifesto about 20 years ago on the future of Korean architecture following the heritage of Kim Soo Geun (father of Korean modern architecture). They now have their own respective offices, but they share the same belief in the architectural concept of emptiness.

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The West Village

In early 2011, DJHA finished The West Village, a small building located in the West Village near the Gyeongbok Palace. A typical ‘rainbow cake’ building, a name coined by DJHA for a low-rise, high-density, mixed-use building type, this 3-story building incorporates residential, commercial and cultural functions vertically.

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