Condencity_34 reclaimed city

For much of the past century there are historically significant locations in Seoul that have remained in isolation from Seoul residents. A number of these places have been associated with political and military activity of foreign occupation and interest. Over the past five years significant political shifts, and some such urban sites, as this one in Samchungdong shown from above, (previously occupied by Japanese and US governments) have once again been returned to the city (at least in theory). While this location in particular remains concealed and impenetrable by a 3 meter perimeter stone wall, its redevelopment will soon introduce this 3.5 hectare area back into the complex fabric of Seoul after decades of isolation.

Condencity_33 dwelling

I am currently buried in housing as project typology both academically and professionally. It is a topic pressing on many levels here in South Korea given physical conditions and ongoing debate. The cityscape in Seoul has been transformed by housing over the last 40 years. Dominant apartment blocks and developments stand uncontested. Comparable to the sprawling American suburb (the Korean apartment development is arguably a vertical 'suburb').

Today, strict laws and codes govern such developments in a manner that leaves little room for deviation. What results are homogeneous tower clusters primarily driven by economic speculation. Regulations are currently being challenged and the continued evolution of dwelling in Korea will certainly bring about another shift in residential life here.

Earth work memorial

Autumn is about memory here. The rural landscape in Korea is reminder of generations past and it is during this time, earth-forms [burial grounds] appear pronounced in the mountainous countryside terrain. At the annual harvest moon, families pay respect to ancestral sites overlooking vast valleys of rice fields and beyond. Like faces from the past these sculpted forms look onward, forever burned in memory.