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Competition: New Jongno-gu Government Complex

Jongno-gu Office, Seoul
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An open international contest is being held for a KRW 168,161 million (£110 million) redevelopment of the Jongno-gu civic campus in the South Korean capital, Seoul

The competition invites local and international architects to draw up ‘future-oriented and sustainable’ proposals for a new 66,970m² governmental complex for Jongno District combining a council chamber, multi-purpose hall, civic offices, a community health centre, an emergency operation centre, and a fire station.

The project will see at least one existing building on the historic 8,622.3㎡ Jongno-gu Office site (pictured) – which was once the home of Jeong Do-jeon who founded Korea’s Joseon Dynasty in the 14th century – restored and upgraded to feature a public roof garden. The overall winner will receive a 8,904 million KRW (£5.8 million) design contract.

According to the brief: ‘This competition aims to select a future-oriented and sustainable proposal for the governmental office complex that will accommodate both memory of the past as well as futuristic creativity. It will be constructed on the current Jongno-gu Office site which has many historical and cultural layers in order to enhance working efficiency and to create a public and community space for residents of Jongno-gu.

‘The site of the Jongno-gu Office is of great historical value. It is presumed to be the home of Jeong Do-jeon, a founding contributor of the Joseon Dynasty. In addition, several historical and cultural resources and historical spaces linked to both the Joseon and modern eras are concentrated and distributed around this area. On the east side of the site are modern middle and high-rise buildings, and beyond that are buildings that maintain the traditional architecture and horizontal form of the Joseon Dynasty.’

The Jongno-gu Office is the civic hub of Seoul’s prestigious Jongno District, considered the heart of the South Korean capital. The contest site is located a short distance from Gwanghwamun Square which played a key role in major historic events throughout the South Korea’s history.

The project will redevelop the Jongno-gu Office complex which currently hosts a civic centre and fire station. The new building will be expected to accommodate all of the existing functions of the site while also improving public realm and landscaping and creating a greater sense of openness for local residents.

Judges will include Yongmi Kim of Geumsung Architects & Associates; Insoo Park of PARKiz; Na-Kyoung Yu, principal at Place Making Associates; and Chung Kee Lee from the University of Seoul.

The overall winner will receive a 8,904 million KRW (£5.8 million) design contract while a second prize of KRW 80 million, third prize of KRW 60 million, fourth prize of KRW 40 million, and fifth prize of KRW 20 million.

The competition languages are Korean and English. The deadline for registration is 5pm local time on 20 August and submissions must be completed by 5pm local time on 27 August.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information


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