For the 4th school field trip, I had a visit to one of the most amazing architecture location in Korea, the Ewha Woman's University. When I first saw the place, I was absolutely shocked and amazed by the magnitude and design of the building - it was just brilliant.
There were few reasons why this architecture seems brilliant to my eyes. First is that this architecture has very intimate relationship with the ground, the Earth.
Relationship with the Earth
I don't think I have seen any architecture which was integrated with the ground, except for the houses in the Lord of the rings movie series, where the hobbits lived in. However now the fantasy has became a reality, showing a glance at a future of our architecture.
I am a designer who believes strongly that this 'relationship' is extremely important factor for the future of architecture. In the future, I believe that everything will be interrelated, connected and joined or linked together as if the whole city or a country will be a one whole huge building. And Ewha Woman's University have demonstrated extremely powerfully how the relationship contributes a major part in architecture - with co-operating with the Earth - it is telling us that the canvas we can mark our buildings is not limited to just above the ground.
The fact that an architecture is integrated with the nature is what makes me fascinated and excited. I can see so much possibilities of creativeness we can experiment with this relationship.
Above the building, there is a garden where student can walk or talk. I think the purpose of this garden is good, however it collides with the modern, futuristic design of the actual structure as the landscape design of the garden gives off an atmosphere effect of an 1700s or 1800s century European garden.
Inside the building, the building seems to be separated into few sections: the two huge space at the end and two thin and long space on the each of the sides. The image above show the front edge of the space.
The minimal, sophistication and the future.
The image above is the side area of the building where shops, restaurants and classes for the students where located. As you can see, the space is very thin and quite long. I really love how the architect designed this space: how the each of the floors are connected with protruding stairs, the material which were used and the systematic organization of space. It almost looks like a building area from a sic-fi fantasy from the distant future. The way how the stairs are protruding outside provokes the audience inside the building. What I mean by provoking is that the design is showing the audience that they it is not really a mainstream interior architectural design. It is instead, rather something that is unconventional, never tried it before; it is daring to try something new.
By just looking at the stairs, we can see that the structure is connected and linked in a very complicated manner. What I feel by looking at this is the urge for adventure. It could be just me, but it makes me feel to travel around this space, exploring the beauty of how everything is related together. I want to feel and experience this sophisticated relationship how the stairs lead to another space and so on. I find this extremely beautiful. This sophisticated arrangement and the relationship makes me want to travel the space and explore. It also makes me want to understand this sophistication.
The material which was used illustrates the sense of minimalism. The metallic white surface creates this vibe of simplicity due to the reason the color is white, and I really like that. I've heard other student who made a comment about how the overall structure was very colorless and boring, thus the student made a suggestion of adding a color to the space such as the columns or the walls. But I think this minimalist style should not change because not only it creates the minimalistic vibe to the environment, but it also supports the sophisticated atmosphere, created by the relationships of stairs, floors and space.
As I mentioned before, when there is relationship between the spaces and the structure, there is certain type of aesthetic. The image above shows a corridor protruding the space, cutting through the vacant area to reach the other side. This complex relationship creates the feeling that the space is being used efficiently but moreover, a sense of sophistication. I think the reason behind the aesthetic of this relationship is due to the fact that every detail of the space is being utilized efficiently and the harmonious visualization created by the delicate organization of the space. As I mentioned before, also when I feel I want to explore the building, I think it has some sense of sophisticated aspect to the design.
At the back of the building, there was a large space as well being utilized as a space for people to meet, hangout and enjoy themselves. Generally here weren't any serious design intervention in this side of the building compared to the other part of the building, however I still liked how the space were designed. One interesting thing was that there was a huge space which was slanted slightly downward leading to the window where I was able to see the interior of a sports stadium. Again, this relationship how the space is interrelated to another created this beautiful architecture.
Looking at the whole building, I think the building possesses both simplicity and sophisticated design element which creates a very unique, yet beautiful architecture. The outside of the building is very simple and minimal. I think this minimalism which we can see from outside of the building is one of the most beautiful minimalism I saw expressed by an architecture.
I realized after traveling this whole building, every inch of the space which I could possibly explore, it came a magic moment. When I understand how the whole building is interconnected and linked together leading from one space to another, this comprehension is what I think really beautiful.
Also the fact that I am inside the space, being overwhelmed by this magnificent playground for me to explore and interact is what's beautiful as well.