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Urban Smudge. A Soft Public Space for Seoul

Part 2 Project 2011
Benedetta Rogers
London Metropolitan University | UK
For historical reasons the city of Seoul lacks public space. Political and economical interests dominate the creation of new squares and parks, generating rigid environments. Within this context the Se-un Arcade, a megastructure built in the 60s, is threatened by demolition to make way for a formal linear park.

The project learns from the city’s tradition of soft boundaries between public and private, proposing an alternative: an ‘Urban Smudge’. This spatial concept describes a place that is at once defined and undefined, a tangible presence in the city with no discernible limits.

The ‘Urban Smudge’ is articulated through the design of shadows. A series of voids cut into the existing structure of the Se-un Arcade cast soft shadows, inviting a new metabolism below. This condition mediates between the original manufacturing industries within and the high-end redevelopment of the surrounding areas. Throughout the building timber insertions articulate the voids, humanising the monolithic scale of the Arcade and recovering elements of traditional Korean architecture.

Opportunities for an alternative civic space are cast.

Benedetta Rogers


Mr Prof. Robert Mull
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