Korea Architecture Tour-Old & Contemporary


Like the other arts of Korea, architecture is characterized by naturalistic tendencies, simplicity, economy of shape, and the avoidance of extremes. What was a sharply curving Chinese roof was modified in Korea into a gently sloping roof. Sharp angles, strong lines, steep planes, and garish colors are all avoided. It typically exhibits a quiet inner harmony. And the contemporary Korean architecture also reflect the concept of traditional Korean culture & characteristics of it and almost all architecture designers has an inspiration from the old with contemporary creativity.

The following Korea architecture tour program is specially designed for researchers, professors and architect designers who want to know about the old & contemporary Korea architecture.

Korea Architecture Tour-01: Visit ‘The Royal Secret Garden(Biwon in Korean) at Changdeokgung Palace Rear Garden

The Secret Garden: Screen Capture @ Google Image Search

Changdeokgung’s rear garden was constructed during the reign of King Taejong and served as a resting place for the royal family members. The garden had formerly been called ‘Bukwon’ and ‘Geumwon,’ but was renamed ‘Biwon’ after King Kojong came into power. The garden was kept as natural as possible and was touched by human hands only when absolutely necessary. Buyongjeong, Buyongji, Juhabru, Eosumun, Yeonghwadang, Bullomun, Aeryeonjeong, and Yeongyeongdang are some of the many pavilions and fountains that occupy the garden. The most beautiful time to see the garden is during the fall when the autumn foliage is at its peak and the leaves have just started to fall.

The first ladies of ‘G20′ Countries visited this place during the ‘G20 Global Summit’ held in Seoul on November 2010.

Korea Architecture Tour-02:  Space Shuttle Shape and Interior Design at Jeon-gok Prehistory Museum -Yeon-cheon, Gyeonggi Province Korea

This museum developed into the world-class prehistoric heritage museum through the understanding of East Asia’s prehistoric culture, as well as the preservation, research, and investigation of heritage.

Jeongok Prehistory Museum was built at Jeongok, a prehistoric relic site where an Acheulean hand axe was discovered for the first time in East Asia. The building of the museum, which was named as “The door to the prehistoric age”, will play a central role for the cultural tourism of the Northern Gyeonggi area in harmony with the Hantangang River. It will take about two-hour drive by coach from downtown Seoul.

Korea Architecture Tour-03: The Tri-Bowl, Uninterrupted space design and land mark of Songdo City, Incheon Metropolitan City, Korea

The Tri-Bowl @ Incheon City

The exterior of the Incheon Tri-bowl is made from exposed concrete found on the lower part of the shell while the upper part has aluminum panels which is an interesting mix of materials that make this building seem really imposing.

It’s located right next to the Incheon Harbor and at times it seems to reflect the ocean. The building has a multidimensional aspect and it can function as a performance area, a social gathering place or even as an exhibition. The architects wanted to create something that’s totally unique, and they’ve used their creativity to come up with an original design, with a curved floor and a flat roof, which is completely different than the traditional ideas in architecture.

The memorial hall serves one purpose: it’s reserved for exhibitions and this is why the ceiling here is wide to render a sense of exposure, openness and space. The Led system puts everything under the spotlight, making everything stand out. Here you can find a rectangular reflection pond that really takes your breath away.

Korea Architecture Tour-04: Space Group Office – Combination of Old and Modern turns into awesome office building as an inventive design by famous architecture designer Mr. Kim, Swoo Keun (1931~1986)

Space Group Office – Interior

The original SPACE Group Building was constructed in 1971 on a tiny lot of 100 square meters at 219 Wonseo-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. Situated on a narrow strip of sloping land off the main road, the rather small building, even when not yet surrounded by larger buildings as it is now, gave hardly any hint of the space actually created inside.

At first glance, the building may appear to have more than four floors because of the absence of slab lines on the exterior walls — covered with ivy at that — making it a challenge to distinguish one floor from another. Only the arched first-floor window on the façade and the four longitudinal windows above it provide a vague idea of how the floors are divided inside the building. The exterior cladding of dark gray and reddish black ceramic bricks, as well as broken brick scraps, gives the building an air of timelessness, which no mass-produced tiles could mimic.

Korea Architecture Tour-05: Buseoksa Temple, Yeongju City – Typical Traditional Temple Architecture of Korea

Buseoksa Temple

Buseoksa Temple is considered a ‘masculine’ temple. It differentiates itself from other temples by its huge size and the scenery is refreshing and beautiful. At the entrance of Buseoksa you will see 108 steps between Cheonwangmun gate and Anyangmun gate. The number of steps represents redemption from agony and evil passions through 108 cycles. You will find Buseoksa Temple’s Three Story Tower when you pass the Iljumun and Cheonwangmun gates. Above the tower you will see Beomjongru. When you pass Beomjongru, you can see a pavilion called Anyang, which means ‘entrance to Heaven’. Go past Anyang Pavillion and you will reach the main building of Buseoksa Temple, Muryangsujeon, which boasts beautiful curved lines of the building structure.

Korea Architecture Tour-06: Yellow Diamond- A Land Mark of Hongdae Street, NANTA Hongdae Exclusive Theatre

Yellow Diamond @ Hongdae, Seoul

It is envisioned as a center where emerging artists can promote their work. A combination of bright color and rhythm will give the building the impact to support its proposed use. The exterior is angled planes of gold-yellow frit-pattern glass representing a unique gem. As the visitors approach from either direction, they encounter changing sparkle and enjoy glimpses into the retail spaces. The public passage through the building draws pedestrians inside, heightening the intrigue to explore the creative spaces within.

Korea Architecture Tour-07: Yeom-Geun-Dang – the Royal Residency of which used the same 200-years-old construction element used.

The royal traditional house of the Last Emperor King Gojong(1863-1987) in Joesun Dynasty now turns into modern hospitality facility. At least 100 years old pine trees are surrounded this wonderful architecture and it show the typical royal kingdom’s private house until today.

Korea Architecture Tour-08: Gallery Mium – One of traditional Korean house in Hanok village now meet tourist from abroad.

Gallery Mium

In downtown Seoul, there is a village of which scattered 100 or more traditional houses called ‘Bukchon’. This is not an artificial one, but citizens are still living with well-reserved traditional houses. One of those houses has been done modernize project and now turns into unique gallery for people.

Korea Architecture Tour-09: Seonyudo Park – Dilapidated land turns into ecological park and open to the public.

Seonyudo Park

Long, long ago, Seonyudo Island was a favorite place for scholars to paint or write poetry. In more recent times, it was a water purification plant before being transformed into Seonyudo Park in 2002. Park designers used features from the purification facility to create an environmentally friendly park. For example, the clean water reservoir was turned into a habitat for water plants, lotus, and salmon. With a water plant garden and forest children’s playground, Seonyudo Park is the most unique park in the city. It also offers a great view of the Hangang River and its surrounding landscape. Don’t miss the arched Seonyugyo Bridge (선유교) for a beautiful view of the World Cup Fountain and World Cup Stadium. The night view is particularly striking with its spectacular lighting displays.

Korea Architecture Tour-10: Polarion Square- A Japan Architect designed this concrete building to stimulate childhood mind in the building

Polarion Square @ Hwaseong City, Korea

Normally architect does not expose bare concrete building on the construction. But this building expose that weakness and designers made it into strengthens. Exterior of the building has so unique shape, but interior of the building has more interesting point. That is this building can bring childhood mind when visitors enter inside. Please explore this building through documentary film on You Tube to the following;

Korea Architecture Tour-11: Heyri Art valley (Village) – Collection of unique houses and building by Korean famous artist, actors, architects and musicians.

Heyri Art Village

The loveliest village on the earth all artists are dreaming. Heyri heads for the art village that communicates the culture with the variety genre in the one space. At first, this village was designed as ‘the book village’ linked Paju Publishing Town in 1997. But in the processing of the project, lots of artists in various cultural fields joined it. And the concept of the village was expanded to ‘cultural art village’.

Now above three hundred seventy members: writers, artists, cineastes, architects, and musicians are building their artistic spaces, houses, work rooms, museums, galleries. Heyri, the name of village, is quoted from the title “the Sound of Heyri” which is the traditional farming song at Paju province in Gyeonggi-do.