Building a foundation for local architecture

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Building a foundation for local architecture


Lee Sang-leem

Space Group Chairman and architect Lee Sang-leem said Koreans’ view of architecture needs to change for local talent to develop further.

Q. How has the Space Group maintained its reputation as one of the most influential architectural firms in Korea?

A. I dare say, we’ve stayed faithful to the basic principles of architecture.

What are the challenges for architecture in Korea?

In Korea, architecture is still viewed as part of the real estate industry but not part of culture. When there is a ceremony to mark the completion of a new building, the architects who designed the building are seldom invited.

Architecture is something that lasts and needs to be seen as part of our heritage.

The Sewoon complex was once considered an architectural achievement and now it is being demolished. How do you feel about that?

It illustrates the changing times and changes in how we see architecture. Since I am involved in the renovation project, I can’t say much about it.

How do you feel about foreign architects winning major projects in the country?

It is okay since Korean architects are also doing many projects in other countries.

Beyond that, not many people are aware that there are many buildings designed by foreign architects here.

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