Seochon Project

This project is about how to deal with order and chaos.

Seoul was developed as a capital city of Korea since the 1394. The basic developing rule was following nature; mountain topography, water flow. However, since 1920 and especially after the Korean War, that rule was buried by economic benefits and more urgent issues. Now Seoul looks chaotic with multiple layers and each person has their own Utopia in their mind.

The project’s site, Seochon, is near the main palace, Gyeongbok Palace, and still has its own identity as a historical place. These days there is a dispute between the developers and the conservation activists.

What could make a better life in this area, where a lot of utopias are conflicting?

In this project, the way of ‘Newly Restore the Lost Area’ is suggested. In the past, the main car road through Seochon was a long housing block beside a water stream. However, it has been changed to the over-scale car road, and the road divides Seochon be a two parts. By restoring and re-interpreting this past condition a way of using public space more publically is suggested. The road now just occupied by the car, will give some spatial relief in this highly dense area, and the newly made ‘blocks’ will have public functions. This project does not touch the remaining historical areas, it only changes the over-dimensioned road, that leaves a void within the area, with a history based approach.

The new place has the character of a stream so even the ‘blocks’ are separated; they are linked by their form and functions. The new ‘blocks’ are generated by pieces of the existing buildings. It can be seen as an extension of the current diverse structure. This ‘merged’ forms will locate this historic part of the city between the past and the future, Heterotopia.

Hye-lip Lee
Tutor: Prof Christian Schweitzer