1930's Seoul_ projecting forward

ThHankok is a centuries old tradition of residential typology here in Korea. It's urban form in Seoul proliferated the city beginning in the early 20th century. It evolved from it's rural roots, providing a kind of suburban neighborhood to Seoulites until the multi-story apartment began to appear in the early 1960's. As a sustainable residential type it has evolved today  as primarily an aesthetic and social icon, disappearing as a once functional neighborhood unit. 

Today, while several districts of the Hanok remain, the transformation of social and physical realities are starkly real and these once vibrant places stand as quiet glimpses of the past. Dwellings are rapidly converted to commercial interest and the remaining residences stand empty as owners choose to live elsewhere with modern comforts and conveniences. Economics have further eroded communities and populations have sold in interest of profits or have been forced to leave due to rising values. What remains is a kind of frozen urban museum; raising questions of the future of a regionally timeless way of building.

Condencity_31 market transformation

Bangkok's markets transform the city day and night. When one pack's up for the day the next one (in some other remote district) is being erected for the night. It is a continuous cycle that momentarily changes the face of the city from district to district and from night to day. Populations and crowds shift from one area to the next in a kind of ebb and flow of urban activity.

Condencity_30 urban ruin

I recently returned from Bangkok. It had been six years since I had visited the steamy tropic metropolis. It is interesting to see how cities such as Bangkok are progress and digress all at once. This could be the case for any city certainly but Bangkok's continuous (and evolving) ruin appears to constantly challenge progress.

Climate and stagnating capital contribute to crumbling pockets in the city center. Heat, moisture, rampant vegetation and pollution cloak these ruins in an accelerated entropic state. Side by side stand ruin and new. The city moves about blindly, oblivious to the beauty of ruin.

YTN Competition

In collaboration with hAND architects in Seoul, we recently completed an international competition for a cable news broadcasting studio and headquarters. The project was an in-depth investigation of new technologies (construction and digital) coupled with natural processes. Our final proposal challenged typical high rise construction by carving out the core of the building allowing light and air to penetrate the entirety of the mass. What is commonly circulation and mechanical service becomes a common public area within the structure. Large voids open to the west and south directing views and light in dialogue with the urban context ('DMC') designated as the new digital media center of Seoul.