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EWHA Campus Complex

Bijgedragen door 323 World Architecture Festival , 25 Juni 2009


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Beschrijving EWHA Campus Complex:

"The hidden Valley of Ewha

First, the new entrance leads to a transversal platform for sports training and occasional events and celebrations. This space creates a link between the University and the city. This permanently animated space is like a screen which shows the activity of the University. This empty space creates also a view where the several buildings are displayed and where the Campus Valley takes place.
A landscape then, more than an architectural work, « The Campus Valley » is engraved into the ground and marks the entrance of University site like a furrow. Starting by a long slopping down esplanade, it rises up at his edge with benches and steps which can be used as an outdoor amphitheatre. The so profiled valley marks the axis of the campus, organises the collective functions and distributes the old buildings as an Anglo-Saxon campus.
The two mirror façades erected face to face design two high glass cliffs who bring natural light to the buried spaces mixing opportunely the study places (conference rooms, libraries), administration with cultural and commercial spaces like movies, theatre, restaurants and shops.
Than the urban dimension and the territory become more important than the object. This building without emergence transforms the topography of the place and completely modifies the urban geography by linking physically the building and visually the elements of the site into a new global landscape.

By burying the complex, as in the French National Library in Paris with its sunken garden in the middle of a wood deck framing, or in the Velodrome and Olympic swimming pool in Berlin engraved in an apple tree orchard, I have the desire, physically speaking, to appropriate the territory, to mingle the constructed material with the ground, the desire to exploit to its paroxysm the idea that “concept and matter have to grapple one with another”.
The genealogy with the previous projects is evident when we consider the fantastic excavation required by this construction. After tree years of work with Ewha, Baum architects, the local consultant and Samsung construction the valley are the only remaining part of that void. The tree sunken architectures buildings are buried to liberate the territory above. A contemporary metropolis as Seoul seems to have a dramatic need of building that creates a breath in the city to balance the fast densification of real estate developers.
With a pure and simple geometry of the building outline and interior we can reach a very abstract effect. The curtain wall of the valley, especially the exterior mirror steel fin is a new technological element which required an experimental development made in collaboration with Samsung engineers. Designed and rigorously built to resist to high wind stress, with its very material, strong and heavy the full stainless steel blades, bolts, brackets and canopies are disappearing due to the huge scale. In the middle of the valley, only remains become dreamlike immersion between two cascades of light.
All together, by using simple shapes which allow the materials to show their pure appearance, we can reach an immaterial effect which participates to the disappearance of the building.
Finally the building disappears under the rooftop garden. It has a very natural aspect, walk paths are made of rough natural stones, evergreen bushes and flower trees like spiraea prunofolia, rhododendron, kerria, are planted randomly. Designed in collaboration with university landscape department, the garden is really an extension of the existing park. This harmony reinforces the disappearance of the building. With this garden and by creating the amphitheatre we are giving back this territories to the students and professors, we not only recreated fluidity of movement but generated new activities, inviting people to take possession of the place."

Dominique Perrault

Photograph by: André Morin


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Informatie EWHA Campus Complex:

Beschrijving tags:
Seoul, Korea South


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