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Anchoring a New City: A redevelopment for Mullae-dong

Part 2 Project 2014
Hanbaek Park
Korea National University of Arts Seoul South Korea
Mullae-dong, once an important industrial site in Seoul has become now more of a rundown area. Yet still, small ironwork factories continue their manufactory business even while empty lots are taken up by artists looking for affordable workspaces. Current policies for a new redevelopment are hindered and obscured, as more of this unique cultural identity is fostered by such artist inflow. Thus, the area calls for a different future action.

A preliminary field survey brought light on an aesthetic autonomously conditioned by the everyday uses and dwellings in this particular area. The hands of the designer are not the learned, but the crude ones worn out by its hard labour. Further look into this self-formed archetype to understand the elements and principles on how it can be generated, a thorough temporal analysis of the urban structure was conducted. Changes beginning from the early ‘Young-dan’ social housing plan and up to the high-rise of today shows what urban elements remained as anchors in spite of all the reckless sprawl. Reinterpretation of these pre-existing entities could be generators for a new city modulating scale, density, and rise. As essentially operating as indeterminate public voids, certain remaining spaces and elements establishes a possible set of codes for redevelopment guidelines. The proposed new city will be in continuum with the old; anchors open to the social community inviting various different activities and events.

After decades of repeated monotonous developments that erased every single urban quality for standard living conditions to some degree, redefining what is given and integrating it into our current urban needs can be an alternative for a megacity yet indistinctive Seoul. Especially in an ever stringent situation demanding extreme social measures both economically and ecologically, solutions for a substantial urban environment regards not only technology or scientific progress but a different way of living which embraces and finds the future in its past.

Hanbaek Park

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2014
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