A Shining Legacy, Architecture That Reflects the Times – Peter Tagiuri
Peter Tagiuri is a professor of architecture at Rhode Island School of Design, the prestigious design school in the U.S., as well as a prominent architect who is involved in various projects taking place around the world. To Peter, who believes that architecture is an extension of nature, Korea’s cities and architecture are always topics of great interest. He embarks on a journey to explore Korea’s architecture, filled with living stories of the past and the present. Meet the shining legacy through the eyes of the architect.
Andong – Architecture that safeguards the values from the past
Andong is Korea’s capital city of spiritual culture where diverse historical and cultural heritages are carefully preserved. At the Hahoe Folk Village, in particular, the traditional structures that exist harmoniously and embrace the layout designed by our ancestors show the yangban culture from the Joseon Dynasty, a tradition that has been kept alive to this day and has turned the village into one of UNESCO’s World Heritages.
Peter visits Chunghyodang, a house built to honor the accomplishments of the family’s ancestor. It still stands strong, despite the centuries that have passed since its construction, thanks to the descendants that have taken their responsibility to protect the house very seriously.
Peter and his wife spend the night in gotaek, an ancient house, to experience how the Korean ancestors used to live in the past and to feel their presence.
Busan – Architecture that creates the present’s values
Korea’s second capital city and an international port city, Busan has an important place in Korea’s modern history. With urban restoration efforts in full swing, diverse cultural projects are turning neighborhoods where ordinary people used to live into beautiful places.
Peter visits two such places: the Gamcheon Culture Village and the Huinyeoul Culture Village, which have become popular tourist attractions in Busan. The harmony created by the lives of the residents and youthful, vibrant art is a novel sight to him.
The towering skyline seen from the Haeundae Beach at sunset is very different from Busan during daytime. The cityscape filled with skyscrapers attests to Busan’s status as a global city.
Seoul – Architecture that carries time-transcending values
Seoul is a city where Korea’s past, present, and future coexist. Cutting across it, the Cheonggyecheon Stream is an important example of a restoration project that resuscitated nature by thinking outside the box. Meanwhile, a global structure called DDP has been built where the historical Dongdaemun Stadium once stood, reshaping the surrounding landscape. What potentials do these landmarks have from an architect’s perspective?
Peter also visits the Deoksugung Palace with a restoration specialist who is leading the efforts to manage and restore Korea’s traditional buildings. According to him, restoring cultural heritages means much more than just repairing and renovating buildings.
Peter gets a glimpse of the past and the present of Korea’s architecture in this city where the traditional and the modern exist in harmony. What meaning does Korea’s architecture, which emphasizes the harmony with nature and the lives of people, hold for Peter?
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