The spatial concept for the park is based on creating a respectful and dignified place that is honouring the memory of the civilians that lost their lives in the Korean war.

The site is divided into two main parts – the building with the adjacent carpark, located to the East of the building, and the park landscape in the West part of the site. By positioning of the Memorial Hall in the Eastern part of the site it distances the activity around the building, and the vehicular movement around it, from the park area, in order to allow quietness and stillness around the excavation sites.

As visitors will arrive to the Memorial Hall building from two directions, the building is designed with front facades on three sides, including the facade to the South that runs parallell to the road. The entrance is located to the East, and the exit from the exhibion spaces is on the opposite side of the building, visually functioning as a front facade to the meadow area and visitors arriving from the East. The South facade is visually extended by a curved wall, which functions as a structural division to the road and encloses the courtyard in front of the building, marking the entrance to the Memorial Hall and the park.

The building consists of three intersecting volumes with separate programmatic uses, that are combined to form a single structure. For programmatic purposes, the design of the building is not using windows in the exhibition section of the building, and the concept is therefore based on designing a structural volume with mainly closed facades. This results in a building structure with an

 

 

architectural form of enclosure. The linearity of the building, which is reflected in the elongated shape of the valley that defines the site, derives from the linear sequence of spaces for commemoration and exhibitions, where the entrance is located to the East, and the exit from the exhibition rooms is to the West. The linearity of the building allows a sequential configuration of spaces for the exhibitions. It is central to the spatial concept of the commemoration and exhibition spaces for the visitor to go through the rooms sequentially and to leave the exhibition rooms by entering into the openness and light of the meadow. The ending of the sequence of rooms is therefore a significant and vital aspect of the experience of the exhibition section of the building, as it is important for the visitor to leave the distressful and emotionally heavy topic displayed in the exhibition rooms with a sense of relief and closure.

In the summer, the meadow will be filled with white daisies. The flowers will be filling the valley in a seasonal display of blooms that will transform the valley into a white field. The meaning of flowers holds a special significance in Korean culture and this has been taken into account in the design of the park and in the choice of vegetation. The planting plan is using mainly native Korean species with white flowers. In Korean culture, the colour of white symbolises life, purity and innocence, and white daisies are given at funerals to mark the solemnity of the occasion. Therefore, the concept for the design of the park is centered around the design of a field of thousands of daisies, planted in rememberance of the civilian victims of the conflict.

 

 

 

The spatial plan for commemoration and exhibitions is based on a sequential order of experiencing the rooms. The memorial room is directly accessed from the entrance hall, followed by the rooms for exhibitions.

The design of the exhibition rooms is based on the concept of a black box in lacking any visual connection to the outside. This ensures a focus on the exhibitions, forming an enclosed space for commemoration and rememberance of past events.

The memorial room has a raised area, forming a low table, where visitors can place items. The walls in the memorial and exhibition rooms are clad with panels of charred wood. The panels are treated by using the Japanese technique of Shou Sugi Ban, traditionally used as a technique for preserving wood, which burns the wood black.

 

 

The use of charred wood is a reference to the use of napalm during the Korean war and its devastating effect on the landscape. Large areas of land, including villages, towns and cities, were burnt down by fires caused by the use of napalm used by US troops in the early 1950’s. Many civilians lost their lives in these fires.

The linear sequence of spaces ends by exiting the building to the West, where the visitor is facing the field of flowers. The concept of the design is to end the spatial sequence of rooms with a sense of lightness and peace, where the darkness expressed in the interior spaces is contrasted by the lightness of the white flowers of the meadow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The excavation sites are marked by a raised steel border, filled with gravel. The simple design clearly marks the location of the sites in the park landscape, using a subtle and solemn expression of form. In lacking ornamentation, the simplicity of the design allows for flowers and items left by visitors to be the focal point.

 

 

 

 

The planting scheme is divided into three areas – meadow, woodland and wetland;

The meadow is planted with daisies, Leucanthemum vulgare, which flowers from June until September, creating a field of white flowers throughout the summer. White daisies are commonly used at funerals in Korea. The field of flowers will create a seasonal display of colour during the summer in rememberance of the civilian victims of the war, and in reference to the massacre that occured on the site in early July 1950.

The woodland areas are allowing the existing vegetation to extend naturally in some areas, with the addition of planting native white, wild roses, Rosa multiflora, which flowers in June. In Korea, white, wild roses symbolises solitude and longing for family.

 

Wetland species, such as sedges and white water iris, Iris ensata, will be planted along the banks of the Konryeong stream and in the swales. In early summer the streambanks and swales will be covered in swathes of white irises, forming white, linear flower beds. Reeds are planted separately for phytoremediation purposes and forms an ornamental feature in the park.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The concept for the water management plan of the park is to retain the water on site as a measure to prevent the risk of flooding during rainfall. The park design is therefore using permeable materials, such as gravel and wood chips, as paving material. The parking areas, as well as the circulation areas in front of the entrance of the Memorial Hall, will be covered in gravel to ensure water permeability.

As the new road risks being flooded during heavy rainfall, the water flowing down from the hillside along the new road will be collected in a new water channel running parallell with the new road. The new channel will be connected to an existing network of water channels that are connected to the Konryeong stream by an outlet point located by the bridge at the far West end of the park. The construction of a new channel running parallel with the new road will subseqently cause the part of the existing tributary water channel located by the Memorial Hall to be made redundant, and this section of the channel will therefore be closed off.

 

A section of the Konryeong stream, located by the bus parking area, will be diverted in order to ensure a better traffic flow on site.

Swales will be constructed in the car park for water retention purposes in order to retain the water in the area. The swales functions as a sustainable vegetational filter to retain and cleanse the water runoff in the carpark area.

Grey water collected from the Memorial Hall building will be cleaned by using sustainable phytoremediation technique through the construction of a reed bed treatment system, located by the section of the previous tributary water channel that has been closed off. The remaining section of the channel will be re-used as an outlet channel for clean water discharged from the reed bed system into the Konryeong stream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Korean War Memorial Park for Civil Victims, South Korea

4th prize, open competition, 2020

link to the competition website