Seoul and Superblock Housing

The chosen site for our final project is the Dunchon-dong superblock housing complex that was built in four phases during the early 80s in the southeast section of Seoul.

These buildings currently exist as single use high rise housing complexes. We are critically examining that current configuration with respect to value, resiliency, and resident experience.

 Seoul Maps by Sangyong Hahn

Seoul Maps by Sangyong Hahn

Because of the ubiquitous nature of our site, we are positioning our project as a critical response to the sort of development that is primarily concerned with delivering as many units to an area without regarding the context, safety and identity of the architecture. The scale that this project exists in the world necessitates a design intervention that can be rapidly developed and deployed, which is why we are looking to parametric design as the tool to realize our solution.

We're approaching this project in a multifaceted research process that looks at identifying the economic factors that created this housing in the first place, issues related to dwelling and identity in high rise housing and also through the perception of urban modern living through film.

We've been challenged to start proposing ideas while the research is ongoing, and the below image is an example of one of those. All of our studies so far have been primarily additive with a more surgical hand when it comes to demolition. Most of the redevelopment and parametric urbanism examples we've seen have been the tabula rasa type. This is an interesting distinction we've noticed between what's been done before and what we're proposing. It will be interesting to see how this develops over the semester.

Currently reading/watching...

"The Neighbourhood Unit" by Clarence Perry, "Complexity Economics: A Different Framework for Economic Thought" by W. Brian Arthur, "Matter Matters" by Manuel DeLanda,  Mon Oncle, The Pruitt-Igoe Myth