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Eastern Hosts Renowned Korean Architect

Published on March 16, 2018

Eastern Hosts Renowned Korean Architect

On Feb. 28, well-respected South Korean architect and author Hwang Doojin presented stunning examples of his eclectic architectural projects during a lecture in the Fine Arts Instructional Center (FAIC) at Eastern Connecticut State University.

Seoul, Korea, is a key influence in the evolution of Doojin’s architectural style. He is one of a select group of architects who incorporate modernism with traditional culture and history. During the move toward industrialization and economic change in Seoul a few decades ago, many traditional Korean homes, called hanoks, were bulldozed. Despite efforts to preserve them, the single-story courtyard homes were replaced with large, drab commercial buildings and stark modern housing developments. Doojin’s projects have resulted in a newer urban architectural style and have triggered the rethinking of urban architectural movements..

The director of Doojin Hwang Architects in Seoul, Doojin studied architecture at Seoul National University and Yale University. He was selected by Richard Meier, a well-known American architect, to work on the Seamarq Hotel, which welcomed global visitors to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics last month. The hotel’s construction included a small village composed of five discrete wooden hanoks. This nod to tradition, combined with modern luxury, is an eclectic example of Doojiin’s style. Some of his other major projects can be found in Frankfurt and Stockholm.

“Tradition matters only when it has future values,” said Doojin. “When you try to reinterpret tradition, the first step is the process of ‘fragmentation’ — you either get inspiration from ideas or concept, or you borrow certain elements and play with it. You can never keep tradition intact as a whole while doing something creative with it.”

Doojin has authored numerous books and is the recipient of prestigious awards such as the Prime Minister Prize of the Korean Architecture Award, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Cultural Heritage Award and the Korean Public Design Award Grand Prize. His sister, Eastern Professor of Music Okon Hwang, arranged for his visit to Eastern, which he graciously accepted during a busy week of engagements at Harvard and Yale.

Written by Anne Pappalardo

Categories: Music