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Seoul Patchworks

: Places within the place

International Design Competition for New Gwanghwamun Square

Seoul, Korea


with Taehyung Park

Honorable Mention 


The new Gwanghwamun Square should be a space that can accommodate all historical values and physical needs. Its point of direction should not be biased either of the past or present, daily use or non-daily use, individual or group, and the value of changing or unchanging.


In order to create a space both flexibility as a citizen park and a powerful identity as a historical park, also create a space where we collect heterogeneous elements and develop into a complementary relationship, we use the patchwork as main design language that is a collection of various scales of elements.


The urban structure of Seoul is characterized by collection of fragmented urban fabric rather than organized organically, due to rapid culture and economic changes. This diversity can be respected by dissolving various contexts of surrounding, rather than using a single gesture. The boundaries of the square defined by the surrounding urban context can be divided into three categories; 1. boundaries with surrounding ground urban structure 2.boundaries with historical spaces 3.boundaries with underground spaces.


Spaces extending from each boundaries are re-organized in the square. Reorganized spaces break down the rigid hierarchy of current square and reborn with varied and flexible system. One patch(space) is organically connected with other patches and surrounding contexts, and becomes a space of new character, and this series of connection creates a large assembly. 


In Seoul Patchwork, the square is not just a sum of small parts but a space with more functions and identities. The square as a collection of places with different meanings and functions will play a role as a symbolic and practical space that can accommodate various historical and spatial layers of Seoul.

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