condenCITY_96 speculation city

You are here... or somewhere, as speculative chance amongst a city of muse. 

Viability is measured in paces from subway entrances and district identifiers- its all in a name after all. A city of speculative deals- one after another. Advertisement is the standout formula attempting to seduce and build distance from close by neighbors. The reality is there is little difference to be found and distance itself elusive. There is a certain mythology here- one of a different city (as in the rendered image above) in contrast to the one that exists in the reality of Seoul.

A city built on speculation. 

condenCITY_95 Futures uncertain

"Tsunami" effect.  

It is easy to make knee jerk analogies to Seoul's newest civic addition and its formal implications. Driving home the other night with two colleagues it was quickly agreed upon the failures this newly exposed addition lends to the cities public face. However, its formation as a monumental architecture- projecting the future and recognizing the cities tumultuous past- to me as a missed opportunity, is more confounding.

A strained attempt to unify a city and country? 

Our constructed public environments represent cultural outlook in progressive society. The progress under which, we are brought together in common visions and destinies (for better or worse). It is no secret that the design and construction of the Seoul city hall took a maligned route to completion- with competing factions in both government, construction companies and the designing Architectural firms. The worst of it seems to be that to this day there is no agreement or accountability on the part of anyone- while everyone sits and points fingers regarding the failures in design, budgets, and methods just to name a few. What has emerged though is a need for professional solidarity in the Architecture ranks here in Korea. Coming together as a professional body in order to instill safeguards of ownership, copy-write and legal matters of accountability. While these do exist to some degree one has to wonder then how so many of these issues could be blindly overlooked over the course of such a significant project. 

I ponder the future of this building 20, 30 years form now encumbered by the expression of its already dated, parametrically patterned skin.  How will it weather time- both in a  physical and formal sense? How will city hall become one of the significant faces of Seoul?  

For now, embracing history and celebrating the future, this project today appears to obliterate both.