The Public Development Center of the Seoul Metropolitan Government recently announced the winners for "The first step to changing the Mapo Oil Reserve Base" international competition. The ideas competition challenged student and professional participants to repurpose the Mapo Oil Reserve Base in Sangam, Seoul, South Korea, which has been out of use for the past 10 years.
Sunggi Park, a graduate student at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and Hyemin Jang, an undergraduate architecture student at Cornell University, won the first prize of $10,000 for their project "Resonance of Light." Their project transforms the Mapo oil tanks formerly used for military purposes into a welcoming multi-functional space where public programs can be held — all while keeping the surrounding natural environment untouched as possible.
A local judging committee of scholarly experts in architecture, urban planning and design, landscape, and social science evaluated the submissions in a three-stage procedure from Aug. 29 - Sept. 9. Jung Gon Kim, professor of architecture at Konkuk University, was chairperson of the committee.
The awards ceremony will take place on Oct. 8 at the Taepyeong Hall, Seoul Citizens Hall (B2F Seoul City Hall Main Building).
Learn more about the winning proposal below.
"How can we turn the abandoned oil tanks for military purpose in history into a place providing a new program for the public? Everyone says, five symbolic tanks easily can be a new landmark in this area because the configuration of the five tanks is very unique by themselves not only in plan but also in section. However, we would like to suggest a new cultural place holding possibilities of reminiscing the nature and people in the past without damaging current environments rather than imposing figures; civil facilities, such as rain water collector or libraries which (requires amendment of complicated infrastructures).
Likewise, urban programs have little potential to use full space would not be ideal solutions. We would like to turn back these abandoned five facilities into the nature with minimal approaches, rather than radical changes in a hurry. In other words, it should be a poetic figure like an artwork camouflaged into the nature."
"Programs should not be inserted coercively on the site. With maintaining the figure, the oil tank turns into the new instrument with real nature and artificial nature, breezing optics. The empty cylinder is independent from noise of outside, and at the same time, sound played by a performer is resonant in the cylinder. Sound waves create a gentle wave of ceiling and convey the movement from inside to outside. The gentle waves of light and sound become an interface between visitors and players, and lead people to interact actively with the nature. It touches the heart of the public not only with a sense of sight, but also hearing. During the daytime, numerous optics camouflage into the background nature, yet them turns into a movement of light features reacts to wind, people, and sound of cultural activities at night."
"The circle in the plan was reinterpreted as an auditorium like an historical arena in which was fitted for acoustic performance. Yet the ground floor of the five figures is 15m distant from the approachable level in mountain, stairs of promenades bridge outer and inner space beyond sectional limit. The new platform connecting the entrance and seats of audience plays a role as an extended terrace for leisure activity such as reading a book or meditating the nature. Whiffle of the sound interactive fur attracts passerby to further animate by touching tips. The surface of the cylinder was kept and modified in an optimal way, also optical bars allow light and sound to penetrate two different space conditions."
"As a result, the sound provides the public with resonant and poetic spaces. The space is enclosed by the cylinder of the history, yet still opens to the public rather than segmented by programs and spaces. Thus, the rhythmic spatial sequence circulates people with flows of sound.
"In addition, the auditorium can be used as a lecture hall which can project a film on temporal screen. Cut-offed parts of the cylinder can be reused as sculptures for theme park for artists or sculptors on the mountain and the abandoned parking area. Artists and the public can be both viewers and sound reflectors of acoustic movement with the metal surface, concrete wall and fiber optics."
"Optics works as a reflector for acoustic optimization as well as accommodates the public and the nature with harmony above the tank. As a landmark on this site, it lights like a firefly at night and reed beds during daytime. Finally, by integrating natural elements and artificial nature, our proposal blurs boundary between five oil tanks, people and environment."
All images and text courtesy of Sunggi Park and Hyemin Jang.
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