Architects were pop stars on Ewha campus

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Architects were pop stars on Ewha campus

On Sunday, the hall in which an architecture forum was being held at Ewha Womans University was bursting with over 1,000 students struggling to get a glimpse of highly acclaimed architects.
Zaha Hadid, who designed the Vitra Fire Station and the Lfone pavilion in Weil am Rhein, Germany, was one of the participants at the seminar with Dominique Perraul, who made a name for himself when he designed the French National Library in Paris.
Other well-known architects were Alejandro Zaera-Polo, who runs the Foreign Office Architects in London and Fashid Moussavi and his wife.
Every time one of the architects walked on stage to present a slide show, the crowd went wild; that made it clear that these architects were indeed the pop stars of their profession.
The architects were the finalists bidding for the construction of the new Ewha Campus Center.
Mr. Perraul, who was the first presenter in front of the audience, said that it was time to redefine architecture. The French architect pointed out that architecture is no longer about building but about landscape.
The British team compared architecture to cultivating seeds in different regions. They interpreted modern architecture as an outcome of accumulated knowledge that transforms information to shape via computers.
Zaha Hadid, who was welcomed with a large round of applause for being an innovative female architect, said an architect should consider the outer walls, especially how they connect with public space, when designing a structure.
Later that day, the judging committee ― consisting of six architecture experts ― picked Mr. Perraul’s design as the winner.
“Not only does Mr. Perraul’s design have a highly flexible multi-purpose concept, as roads and plazas collaborate, but also the design has the ability to adapt to changes of environment in the future,” said Kim Jong-sung, one of the jurors.
One of the distinctive features of Mr. Perraul’s design was the “Campus Valley,” an underground space that has a transparent ceiling that lets light stream in. The valley is 25 meters (82 feet) deep and 250 meters long.
On both sides of the valley are plants and trees that give a sense of familiarity with nature.
A multipurpose center that consists of convention halls, multimedia lecture halls, a restaurant and a fitness center will be erected on either side of the valley.
Mr. Perraul said the concept of his design was to provide a campus that is like a park connected to the city and an open space that combines femininity and nature while adapting to time, seasons and events.

by Jung Jae-sook
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