In the flood of fragmented and swallow images Park tries to re-configure, by questioning what the meaning of Being is, a new relation between human life and its value and physical environments which become backgrounds of human life. The critical argument of this project is that it is possible to improve the values of beings by shifting or transforming a way in which how physical conditions are constructed and used. At the moment of construction something can be defined as architecture only if the values of beings who are constructing it are also ascending accordingly.
This project consists of three layers: Firstly an oneiric narrative constructed on the basis of Park’s personal experiences and memories, secondly unbiased interrogation and rigorous studies on reality based on science and evidences, and lastly new proposals of events and physicality. The three layers are combined within the proposed tracking route. Four existing places are chosen as symbolic places along the north south axis from the Gyeongbokgung Palace to the Seoul national cemetery. They become related in a story therefore walk on the route means experiencing the story. A new pedestrian bridge is proposed to connect the route over the Han River. The roof decking of the bridge will be used for funeral procession as well as for the public path and lower levels for commercial and cultural program.
The project adopts video not as a representational tool but as a design-generating tool, which is very versatile to capture or to generate a new dimension of time-space. As Bergson stated in Creative Evolution, the project believes in that multi dimensions of architecture can be emerged through duration.
Ereignis is a Heideggerian term, translated often as “an event,” but is better understood in terms of something “coming into view.” Or “enowning”; that in connection with things that arise and appear, that they are arising ‘into their own’. Hubert Dreyfus defined the term as “things coming into themselves by belonging together.”
Beings do not have any meaning as themselves. They become meaningful through Ereignis.
Main Film – English Version
Main Film – Korean Version
Chapter 01. Palace of Heavy Air
Site: Gyeongbokgung Palace
Historic Event: Empress Myeongseong was assassinated by Japanese killers on the 8th of Oct in 1895
Construction Material : Air
Proposal: Every year on the 8th of Oct, the palace is filled with heavy air to obscure the solid ground. The heavy air flows over to the Gwanghwamoon Square. As a ceremonial event, people can start marching from the palace to the Seoul National Cemetery along the proposed tracking route approx 9km long.
Architectural Position: the film starts with the murder case of Empress Myeongseong. Although it is not directly dealt with, the film regards the incident as the critical moment in which the course of Korea’s traditional cultural value and way of life were dramatically shifted, that is, modernization.
In the film, the empress symbolizes the “lost object(s)” in modernization which cannot return.
The Palace of Heavy Air questions that the current position of the palace in urban and historical perspectives. The palace has been nothing less than a mere reconstruction of the past architectural style, which is ignorant to the critical events and memories.
If ascending air means human progress as Gaston Bachelard stated, Heavy air, which cannot ascend, is antithesis.
Chapter 02. Gate of Eternal Flame
Site : Sungnyemun(Great South Gate)
Historic Event : On February 10th 2008, the gate was destroyed in a fire. Restoration is currently underway, and the gate should be re-opened to the public in 2012. The arsonist claimed that he was unfairly deprived of his land properties by an apartment building developer. There was no other way to express his resentment but set fire on the gate.
Construction Material : Fire
Proposal : Keep the gate as an eternal fire. Restore the gate once a year and set on fire to destroy.
Leave it as a constant transformation of matter into energy.
Architectural Position : Although the restoration is underway, it was alleged that the restoration is not according to the original shape due to the master carpenter’s personal opinions and no sufficient historic investigations. The gate was over 600 years old before the incident. The proposal questions that whether the reconstruction of the physical can also heal the psychological wound or whether the reconstruction is merely an act of forgetting or hiding as if nothing has happened which I believe, undermining the meaning of being.
Chapter 03. Human Free Zone
Site : Yongsan U.S. Base
Historic Event : The site is located at the centre of Seoul but has been occupied by the foreign militaries over 150 years. The U.S. Military will be moved out to another area by 2019.
Construction Material : Natural Energy with minimum human intervention, Revival of Nature
Proposal : Wait patiently until nature revives by itself with minimum human interventions, until we understand what the place means to us both physically and mentally whatever and however it takes, and until our ability to do a good architecture grows up socially, politically and culturally.
Architectural Position : Yongsan is a very important mental space as well as physical and the last opportunity site where high quality architectures and urban development as a park can be realized. On the other hand, Korea’s construction industries have been driven by mass urban development by big contractors, sweeping everything away and building in monotony. A totally and radically different approach is required for success in Yongsan. That I think “waiting.”
Chapter 04. Mirage Island of No Returnees
Site : Seoul National Cemetery
Event : Ceremonial space once a year.
Construction Material : Light (Mirage)
Proposal : Mirage, the oscillation between the disappearance and appearance of gravestones while walking along the path.
Architectural Position : The oscillation is in effect between life and death. The intention is blurring the clear boundary of the two dimensions. It is not by chance that the graveyard evokes the array of apartment buildings. However, more in phobic dimensions and overwhelming scales. The modernization emancipated people from fallacies and modern architecture embodies such a spirit of freedom. I become, however, dubious looking at the city of Seoul and other growing cities in the globe. The question was “what is the meaning of life.” For a possible answer, I refer to Heidegger’s essay “Building Dwelling Thinking.”
Chapter 05. Passage of the Undefinable
Site : Han River between National Museum of Korea and Seoul National Cemetery
Construction Materials : RC
Proposal : Two pedestrian bridges to connect the proposed route over the Han River
Bridge 01 – Ellipse of Time
The bridge connects the National Museum of Korea with the riverside space north of the Han River.
The design intent is to create a perfect circle at the view from the bridge 02 – Passage of the Undefinable, located 500 meters away to the south.
The two reflective surfaces on the ellipses which are responsive to the sun path will make two points of glowing. These will work as clock needles. The glowing on the bigger ellipse turns clockwise and anticlockwise for the smaller ellipse.
Bridge 02 – Passage of the Undefinable
The bridge works both in the filmic space of “Ereignis” and in reality.
In the filmic space, the bridge connects the South Castle Wall with the Mirage Island of no Returnees. In reality between the National Museum of and the Seoul National Cemetery.
The title “Passage of the Undefinable” is given from the journey of the Emperor in the film.
In the film, the emperor’s funeral procession is shown on the upper deck of the bridge. This is not only a filmic space and an event. In reality. The function is also contained in the proposed bridge for those who sacrifice their life for the country to the Seoul National Cemetery. This is the significant character of the bridge. That is to expose death in the monotonised, speedy and fragmented modern city. As shown in the film, the character of the bridge is developed from the Heidegger’s philosophy. That is how to be in the moment of the “authentic self”” being toward death.”
The bridge provides enclosed spaces at the lower level for cultural and retail programs. The juxtaposition of daily life and the space of death, in another word, nothingness is one of the main concerns of this project. In addition, the Han River is over 1km wide. It is considered that the river is too wide to cross without any shelter.
Toward Nothingness _ Installation Work
The installation work creates a background. This is in response to the commissioner’s exhibition intent, scenography as common ground. The video was taken from the Seoul National Cemetery, the space of death, in the Heideggerian term, nothingness. Juxtaposing the space of death with daily life and exposing it to the monotonised modern city is one of the main concerns while developing the project. Here, the background of the exhibition hall is the space of death. Nothingness.