Guest Cities Exhibition (2023): Parallel Grounds - Cities between Density and Public Value

Explore an exhibition delving the very essence of the ground, spotlighting city examples that are either broadening or reshaping their foundational terrains

Guest Cities Exhibition by Curator: Sang Soon Youm, Jinyoung Lim Photo: WAYD.Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism revolves around the theme of “Land Architecture, Land Urbanism.” This theme underscores the importance of recognizing and restoring our connection to the land, encompassing land paths, waterways, and wind routes. As urban areas rapidly expand, there’s a pressing need to consider multi-level usage and interconnections within urban spaces. 

Nordic Sustainable Cities (Danish Architecture Center) by Nordic Union Klimatilpasning Kokkeda / Kokkedal, Denmark Park’n’Play_JAJA Architects / Copenhagen, Denmark Lonna Sauna OOPEAA MFA / Helsinki, Finland Ilabekken, recreational area along river / Ila, Trondheim, Norway The Greenest Block of Flats / Helsinki, FinlandSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Guest City Exhibition delves into these complex topics, questioning how we can invigorate the vibrancy at the ground level within multifaceted physical and socio-cultural terrains, and whether it’s possible to address urban density and public space in tandem. Get to know the very essence of the ground and have a look into city examples that are either broadening or reshaping their foundational terrains.

Z-Dimension Architecture by Steven Holl ArchitectsSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Z-Dimension Architecture

Steven Holl’s architectural journey underscores a profound relationship with the land and an enduring commitment to integrating landscape and architecture. 

In this exhibition, he seeks to illuminate how the Z-dimensional architectural philosophy evolved in synergy with the terrain, with a vivid display of the firm’s sketches and projects.

Berlin—City of Courtyards by Quest (Christian Burkhard & Florian Köhl) Artist: Quest, Laboratory for Urban Ecosystems, Berlin Sponsor: Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing Berlin Idea and concept: Christian Burkhard & Florian Köhl Design and layout: Tim Sawford Collages and illustrations: Gabriel FortenbacherSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Berlin—City of Courtyards

Urban spaces inherently evolve over time. What may start as overlooked or enclosed areas can often transform into pulsating public hubs that infuse life into cities. The courtyards of Berlin, primarily birthed during its expansive growth phases, have seamlessly woven themselves into the city’s tapestry, bridging neighborhoods both physically and socially while also serving ecological purposes.

In a deep dive into this transformative journey of Berlin, we’ll examine four representative cases, illustrating their rich history and the evolution of city’s physical structure into a treasured urban alcove. This exploration is poised to spark dialogues on how urban void can be reimagined to breathe life back into the cityscape.

The Traditional House of the Future by John Lin and Lidia Ratoi / The University of Hong KongSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Traditional House of the Future

John Lin and Lydia Ratoi have extensively researched traditional habitats across China and are reimagining our relationship with the land. Through their work, the architects prompt us to consider: When traditional land usage no longer aligns with our needs, how should we rethink our approach and become actively involved?

The Athletes Village by Dominique PerraultSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Athletes Village: A new district of the Grand Paris—Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Dominique Perrault envisions six blocks perpendicular to the waterway, akin to colossal ships anchored by the Seine. The exhibition showcases a design method in a riverside development project that promotes airflow and broadens water channels and successfully reconnects the river to the city center.

Urban plate tectonics by Cantonal And Urban Development Department In The Presidential Department Of The Canton Of Basel-Stadt; MIDERI ARCHITEKTEN Pictures and Video: Maris Mezulis Graphic design: Pascal StorzSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Urban plate tectonics

MIDERI ARCHITEKTEN presents sensory videos capturing the Rhine’s flow side by side with desks detailing riverfront analyses. Through a blend of maps, visuals, and narratives, they shed light on the Rhine’s diverse influences, be they historical, cultural, sociological, geographical, or economic, and how the cultural communities along its expanse interact.

Cooperative Design for New Urban Infrastructures: TOKYO STATION YAESU DEVELOPMENT and MIYASHITA PARK by Nikken SekkeiSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Cooperative Design for New Urban Infrastructures: TOKYO STATION YAESU DEVELOPMENT and MIYASHITA PARK

Tokyo, being a public transit-oriented metropolis, these areas are transformed into pedestrian-friendly squares, forming a seamless network for easy mobility. Developed in collaboration with the private sector, they also merge parks and riversides, establishing interconnected spaces and fostering movement within layered public realms.

The Wild Mile: Restoring Chicago’s Urban River by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), Urban Rivers & Omni Ecosystems Full Team List: SOM, Urban Rivers, Omni Ecosystems, Tetra Tech, Near North Unity Program, O-H Community Partners, d’Escoto Inc.Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Wild Mile: Restoring Chicago’s Urban River

The Chicago River, tainted and made inaccessible post-industrialization in the 1850s, has embarked on a 21st-century rejuvenation journey, repurposing the riverfront as a civic expanse. In an effort to revert the river to its natural wetland habitat from the last ice age, SOM in collaboration with Urban Rivers designed a sprawling 2,000-square-foot floating eco-park.

The 'Wild Mile' initiative aspired to foster community engagement, amplify river access, and craft an environment where nature and wildlife flourish. This undertaking involved pinpointing and reviving native plant species across diverse river stretches. 

Features such as floating modular platforms, tethered habitats, access ramps, observation decks, and docking units can be scaled and modified based on local demand and financial constraints. This showcases a blueprint for reinstating natural habitats utilizing a replicable design that doesn’t always hinge on cutting-edge technology.

Creating Conditions for Freedom by KCAP Video: (C)SBBSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Creating Conditions for Freedom

The exhibition delves into the necessity of creative 'restrictions' and balancing freedoms to rejuvenate vital city areas like riversides and train stations. 

This exposition underscores that impactful and sustainable urban evolution demands designs that involve a broad spectrum of city stakeholders, interpret regulations insightfully, and expand upon them.

Ikebukuro, Tokyo: Probably Public Space? by Christian Dimmer + Keigo Kobayashi Project Team: Abudjana Haider Elwaseela Babiker, Christy Elias, Misato Fujii, Sorami Ikoma, Owen Hendrik Law, Jun-Rong Lin, Ryuto Otsuka, Ha Eun Park, Yuri Park, Sachi Sawamura, Selenay YakinSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Ikebukuro, Tokyo: Probably Public Space?

Christian Dimmer and Keigo Kobayashi delve into this intricate dynamic, focusing on the Ikebukuro district of Tokyo. Their exploration challenges the dual nature of POPS, probing whether such spaces genuinely embody the spirit of publicness in urban societies.

The artist illustrates how Hong Kong underscores the potential and resilience of public spaces, even without conventional groundings like plazas. Reflecting this, the sketches showcase the intricate interconnections of the city's foundations, offering a three-dimensional portrayal of Hong Kong's reimagined ground.

Hudson Yards, New York by Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Client: Related Companies, Oxford Properties Group Photos: Connie Zhou, Raimund Koch, Aaron Fedor, Related Companies, Michael Moran/OTTO, Justin Whiteford, Google Maps, Kohn Pedersen Fox, Bernstein Associates Photographers Video: Kohn Pedersen Fox, Earth Cam, Aaron FedorSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Hudson Yards, New York

Representing the most extensive private real estate development in U.S. history, and ranking among New York City's most intricate construction undertakings, Hudson Yards seamlessly integrates with the renowned High Line to its south and is punctuated by towering office edifices on either side. 

The visionary transformation of a once-neglected railroad depot into a pulsating hub adorned with public spaces, cultural initiatives, and enveloping skyscrapers underscores the imperative of thoughtful planning in grand-scale urban development.

Aging TOgether: Inclusive Aging-in-Place Strategies for Toronto by Victor Perez-Amado, Vinaya ManiSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Aging TOgether: Inclusive Aging-in-Place Strategies for Toronto

Victor Perez-Amado seeks to introduce innovative housing models and urban design guidelines that cater to the needs of the aging population, especially focusing on marginalized groups like the elderly and LGBTQ seniors. He presents fresh legislative initiatives, policies, and even ground designs tailored for LGBTQ senior communities, anchoring his proposals on the idea of 'chosen families'.

Green, Cultural and Entertaining: The Total Renewal of the Central Park of Budapest by LIGET BUDAPESTSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

Green, Cultural and Entertaining: The Total Renewal of the Central Park of Budapest

How can urban development be harmonized with the preservation and enhancement of a historic park? City Park, a revered 200-year-old green oasis in Budapest, is at the crossroads of rejuvenating its lush landscapes and recreational features while simultaneously modernizing its long-standing institutional foundation. The architects sought a rejuvenation strategy that melds reverence for the past with contemporary needs.

To safeguard the park's verdant expanses, the design approach leveraged existing structures and peripheral areas, and looked below ground level to ensure that new edifices did not overshadow the tree canopy. This vision encompassed projects ranging from the restoration of a century-old art museum to the inception of SOU Fujimoto's House of Music Hungary. 

The rejuvenation project, dubbed LIGET BUDAPEST, has birthed an array of cultural hubs, flaunted the genius of globally renowned architects, and epitomized the synthesis of a verdant park with cultural landmarks.

The Radiance of Metropol Parasol: Affordances and appropriations of an urban soul by J. MAYER H. and PartnersSeoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Radiance of Metropol Parasol: Affordances and appropriations of an urban soul

Jürgen Meyer & Partners have curated a diverse collection of images and footage, painting a vivid tapestry of how the Metropol Parasol not only galvanized urban vibrancy but has also etched itself as a symbolic urban motif. This narrative underscores the quintessential role of iconic structures in molding urban communal arenas and fostering engagement with the activities they host.

Credits: Story

Curator: Sang Soon Youm, Jinyoung Lim
Venue: Seoul Hall of Urbanism & Architecture, Seoul Citizens Hall
Assistant Curator: Solhee Yoon
Curatorial Assistant: Shinwoo Park, Jaejun Isaac Lee
Translation: Heather HyeSang Lee, Sunjin Kim
Panel Editing: Hye Min Song

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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