When we say ‘renovation’ or ‘remodeling,’ of architecture, we often think of repairing a run-down building that has lost its function over time. These days, however, it is easy to see unfinished structures that have been suspended mid-construction due to profitability issues.
The space has taken shape after the land. Those who live their lives among the bustle of hundreds or thousands of people each day, come to this place in search of rest or healing.
The spaces of Dada Pension, taking after the site, are made to be independent but unable to exist separately. Dada Pension, which has a somewhat complicated circulation between spaces, is planned so that people can escape from the city and find calm, separate themselves from other people, or connect with people who are similar to themselves.
Around 600 B.C., King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon made a garden for his wife Amitis of Media Kingdom in the midst of desert, noticing she got homesick longing for her country’s forest. It is said that the garden was a “hanging garden,” that was built not on the ground but on a structure like terraced balconies. The garden was designed so well it felt like walking on regular ground. It is also said that water was drown from the far Euphrates River through water pipes, to continuously feed the plants in its garden. Probably all the advanced techniques of the time were used. Power of love created a garden hanging over the sky in the middle of the desert. It is regrettable that nothing remains, but still it is such a romantic story. This story became starting point.
The 300pyong irregular shaped piece of land near the outskirt of north eastern Seoul simultaneously faces forests and the dense urban conditions. The boundary that faces the city is walled up according to wishes of the client, who is both an avid collector of Pinocchio dolls and artifacts from around the world, and owner of a private kinder-garden. The client had a programmatic vision for a museum and galleries where her Pinocchio collections and related collections and designs could be enjoyed and experienced. The first building was envisioned as mainly as a Pinocchio doll museum with some seating areas for watching performances. There was a request for an outdoor hall where make shift arena could take place. The second building was to house many other character designs related to Pinocchio, with an emphasis on interactive program and a larger auditorium for movies, concerts and other congregational uses. The third building needed to accommodate a museum shop with a cafeteria, and some workshop space.
Although I am afraid that if I call it the owl, it will continue going by this nickname and it will be regarded within this context, I would nevertheless like to call it the owl. If you look at the building from the roadside, you may associate the shape formed by the angles of the setback regulation that has now been abolished with big head and two eyes.
Olson Kundig worked closely with the design team from Shinsegae and artist Do-Ho Suh to create a “secret garden” for children and families in Uijeongbu, a city near Seoul, South Korea. Located on the roof of a 9-story department store, this 20,000 square-foot active play area and lush garden is an oasis of trees, plants and flowers comprised exclusively of native species from South Korea.
Knock Knock Heon is located in the border of Seoul, surrounded by an exceptional landscape made up by a forest in the foreground and the famous Bukhansan in the background. Both the architect and the client agreed that the relationship to the mountain would be the guiding line of the project.
In Korea, in the late ’70s and early’ 80s, boombox was a familiar sounding device that played radio and cassette tapes. When my school went on a picnic, some students brought a boombox, and we all shared loud music coming out of its speaker with classmates. Boombox reminds me of memories of cassette tapes with loose film in it and stimulates nostalgia at that time. They consumed popular culture in the midst of a rapid economic development in their teenage years, and received the same level of education as their contemporaries from other advanced countries. Now they became the main generation of the society that have family and raise children. Boombox House is a rental house project that targets this specific generation.