Work details
Application Number 0000701587
Author Kim, Hanul , United States
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Work title: Deflated Monument (0000701587)

The ambition of this project is to produce monumental architecture through horizontal spatiality. As opposed to the traditionally vertical forms of monumental architecture, which are easily and singularly legible from any distance, this new monumentality employs a strategy of the scaleless ground plane with a contingent formality that makes it unable to be seen in its entirety. Politically, this model supports multiple publics - with diverse features like race, gender, or political inclination – which better reflects Korea’s contemporary democratic society. The potential for a new monumentality is tested by remodeling the existing Assembly Building in Seoul, currently identified by its singular legibility and vertical form. The Assembly Building and its site, both create the representation of the political construct in Korea. Although it can be read immediately by relying on canonical references like Western classical symbolism, the singular representation of this existing building is at odds with the democratic value of the contemporary public. Due to the government’s excessive control, the site is currently inaccessible and lacks political vibrancy as a public space. Defying the historical verticality of monumental form, the aggregation of the infrastructural canopy, horizontally, envelops the whole site. The single infrastructural canopy converges the building''s systems (slabs, columns, roofs, and mechanical circulation) into one integrated surface instead of separating them into distinct parts, and this integration creates a rich visual effect without the help of any reference. The aggregated canopies produce a scaleless and continuous ground that is unable to be seen in its entirety. Two formal expressions of the canopy – the grass roof skin and the beam pattern in ceiling - reveal intense symbolic value on both the exterior and the interior. Also, the various roof heights, randomly dispersed column-free spaces, and scattered furniture allow multiple views and experiences of the Assembly Building defying the current notion of a singular legibility. The occupiable landform roof structure and the gently sloped undulating floor assure easy passage for publics. The network of non-hierarchical communal spaces replaces the existing symmetrical centrality, creating diverse interior spaces. This spatial atmosphere is subtly accommodated by the beam pattern and ETFE system which provide disparate simultaneous attractions. These typological strategies counter the excessive spatial control by the government and, ultimately, reinstate the vital connection between multiple publics and the site.