30th Anniversary Memorial Hall of Daejeon University/ Seung, H-Sang

Architect: Seung, H-Sang
Location: Daejeon University, Daejeon
Program: class rooms, office, conference, press, broadcasting studio, seminar hall, exhibition hall etc.
Bldg. area: 6,493.03m²
Gross FL area: 20,325.15m²
Structure: reinforced concrete
Exterior finishing: Brown brick
Design period: 2007.08~2008.09
Construction Period: 2008.10~ 2010.10
Completion: 2010.10
Photo Credit: Jong Oh Kim

In October 2010, Daejeon University is going to celebrate its 30th anniversary. Overcoming the handicap of being a newly founded private school, it has become one of the most significant institutions in Daejeon area in only 30 short years. This remarkable accomplishment owes not only to the constant efforts of the faculty but much to architecture based on the campus development plan. The atmosphere of the campus began to change with the construction of Hyehwa Culture Center and the new dormitory complex, which it was once a set of arbitrary edifices built on an artificially flattened mountain slope. The design studio Ki-o-hun executed to rearrange the master plan, then significantly renovating and rejuvenating the campus buildings. Step by step, the campus became a place with a totally different scenery that local residents could enjoy. The power of good architectural design made this change. The founding committee regarded the 30th Anniversary Memorial Center as the climax of this campus development plan, not only in scale but also in symbolic significance. Therefore, it was intended to be a monumental twin tower though Min Hyunsik, the architect of the master plan was skeptical. We understood that monumentality had become popular among the public. The site was, unfortunately, located in artificially flattened area. Yet, according to the master plan, it seemed obvious that the site could function as a strong axis that led to the west gate and to the pedestrian way that starts from the south gate. Placed right behind the campus library, it can constitute a campus spine. The excavated southern slope of the mountain still seemed wounded, even with the fully grown trees. Artificially flattened ground and constrained slope towards the west gate needed to be restored. The ‘symbolic twin tower’ did not fit the site. Nor it was appropriate for a society that limits ‘universality’ to a certain symbolic form. Furthermore, the twin tower that dominated the surrounding buildings seemed hypocritical for a university that claimed to care about democracy. I intended to restore the landscape through architecture.
Thus, the program was analyzed and it was put into individual units, rearranged due to the original landscape. Next, an access ramp suggested by the master plan which departs from the west gate was led into the buildings that formed a man-made valley. This valley becomes one of the most crowded squares linking the buildings on both sides.
This creates a dynamic scenery. Administrative buildings rise ten stories high, though it may not influence the big picture while it is carefully designed to be a small volume that equilibrates the neighboring big library volume. The rooftops become another type of ground, linked to the courtyards. Spherical and rectangular volumes occupying
the rooftops may arouse curiosity about these architectural spaces. Once again, the form itself means nothing. It is the inspiring space that motivates our will for action. I don’t know what might happen next, nevertheless, I can be positive about the result as long as a romantic and academic university occupies the land. This belief made me concentrate on arranging indefinite spaces with proper scale and location, and it resulted in this architecture.
Through the simulation, we obtained a reincarnated landscape with very authentic value. Consequently, the land itself created this architecture.

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