Project in Detail
Paju-City, Korea South
Archium, Seoul, Korea South
World Architecture Festival 2008 - Shortlisted
The form of the Woongjin Thinkbig building has been set in a rock shape following the guidelines of Paju Book City. As long as we agreed to the principles of creating the city, abiding the regulations. We were actually able to be unbound by the generalized view that architecture should be first approached from the perspective of "form". Although it was the form of a "rock," I imagined a light rock floating on a reed field, rather than a heavy rock stuck solidly. We had to create the facade appearance of the building with transparent texture to reduce the weight. A publishing company is a place where books are made. And people produce these books. Therefore, the space for Woongjin Thinkbig is a place for people who create these books. There are no set rules defining what a space for making books should look like. Yet, I thought it would be sufficient to make it as open as the characteristics of the space. So I made things open to feasible extent and minimized the places that should be closed. In order to facilitate the unbound flow of space, either I eliminated or lowered partitions and made them transparent. When the form and content are decided upon, one should think about with what sensed the space should be filled. These felt impressions become the content of the space. The Woongjin Thinkbig office has a large madang (courtyard), a large outside surrounded by the inside. Although it is outdoors, so to speak, it is at the same time located inside the building, thus it also belongs to the inside. The outside connecting the inside with the indoors should take an attitude of the indoors. It becomes the part of the space. Surrounding spaces with the madang in-between may cross the place in either direction, overlook the other side or look down on the other side.
Spaces of architecture are made of the floor, walls and roofs. Usually, buildings take the form of hexahedrons, yet what is seen is walls in the front, back, to the left and the right. One cannot see the floor as it is sided with land and the roof is tilted toward the sky, and thus it is not seen. The Woongjin ThinkBig building does not have a roof. What it has instead is something that is transformed into an artificial land. One can enjoy the sunset of the WEst Sea overlooking reeds on the waterway and the river Han in the distance, while loitering ir sitting back on the "roof"-top, the space for relaxation.
I tried to decorate the space within a restrained and refined frame, as architecture should exist only as a background to give the actual prominence to the people, the owners of this space, and the book-making. I expect that the combinations of accidents which may be presented by spaces between wooden louvers, which are the metaphor od books, as well as the collections of the Woongjin ThinkBig, which are placed in every node of the space, will reduce monotony of the office space, apt to be dry. I believe that refining space by emptying rather than filling it is the way to make space more space-like.