Hwang Doo-jin: Adding Heart to the Seoulscape

One of Korea’s leading boutique architects was educated in both east and west, but his work is strongly informed by native paradigms. “Asian buildings are living things!” he insists

February 24, 2018 10:11 AM (UTC+8)
  • Cheonwoondang, Seoul. Hwang’s HQ for a traditional Oriental medicine maker drenches with light the once-secret and walled off process of medicine manufacturing. Photo: Park Young-chae.
    Cheonwoondang, Seoul. Hwang’s HQ for a traditional Oriental medicine maker drenches with light the once-secret and walled off process of medicine manufacturing. Photo: Park Young-chae.
  • North Terrace, a building Hwang renovated for a friend, incorporates public spaces in a private building, and offers multiple uses – coffee shop, book club, offices and residential facilities, what Hwang calls “layer cake architecture.” It is viewed from Changdeok Palace in central Seoul. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
    North Terrace, a building Hwang renovated for a friend, incorporates public spaces in a private building, and offers multiple uses – coffee shop, book club, offices and residential facilities, what Hwang calls “layer cake architecture.” It is viewed from Changdeok Palace in central Seoul. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
  • Won and Won 53.5 Building. This office building is an intentionally “quiet” structure in a very visually noisy district – Seoul’s famous Gangnam. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
    Won and Won 53.5 Building. This office building is an intentionally “quiet” structure in a very visually noisy district – Seoul’s famous Gangnam. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
  • Tongin Market entrance, Seoul. This traditional market in central Seoul has been gentrified for tourism. Hwang’s addition – based on the wooden skeleton of a hanok roof, but incorporating curves, rather than straight lines – creates a striking entrance. Photo: Park Young-chae
    Tongin Market entrance, Seoul. This traditional market in central Seoul has been gentrified for tourism. Hwang’s addition – based on the wooden skeleton of a hanok roof, but incorporating curves, rather than straight lines – creates a striking entrance. Photo: Park Young-chae
  • “Castle of Skywalkers.” This design for this training facility/dormitory for volleyball athletes is based on an opera house: When the “skywalkers” open their dorm doors, they are presented with their facility, immediately connecting them to their sport. Photo: Park Young-chae
    “Castle of Skywalkers.” This design for this training facility/dormitory for volleyball athletes is based on an opera house: When the “skywalkers” open their dorm doors, they are presented with their facility, immediately connecting them to their sport. Photo: Park Young-chae
  • Wood and Brick restaurant, Seoul. This restaurant, in the central Seoul district of Gahoe Dong, noted for its traditional architecture, serves continental cuisine, but marries Asian and Western design motifs. Photo: Park Young-chae
    Wood and Brick restaurant, Seoul. This restaurant, in the central Seoul district of Gahoe Dong, noted for its traditional architecture, serves continental cuisine, but marries Asian and Western design motifs. Photo: Park Young-chae
  • Guro Fire Station, Seoul. Hwang’s striking design for the fire station in Guro, western Seoul was designed after an analysis of the building’s function and also includes a small park within the station for public use. Photo; Park Young-chae
    Guro Fire Station, Seoul. Hwang’s striking design for the fire station in Guro, western Seoul was designed after an analysis of the building’s function and also includes a small park within the station for public use. Photo; Park Young-chae
  • Han River café, Seoul. The design incorporates a coffee shop into the staircase/elevator that conveys pedestrians to and from the upper and lower levels of Hannam Bridge, which crosses the Han River in central Seoul. Photo: Park Young-chae
    Han River café, Seoul. The design incorporates a coffee shop into the staircase/elevator that conveys pedestrians to and from the upper and lower levels of Hannam Bridge, which crosses the Han River in central Seoul. Photo: Park Young-chae
  • The discrete neo-hanok cluster at Gangneung’s Seamarq Hotel, which has recently welcomed Winter Olympic-related visitors including Antonio Guterres, Thomas Bach and Jack Ma. The hotel proper is the white tower in center, back. Photo: Park Young-chae
    The discrete neo-hanok cluster at Gangneung’s Seamarq Hotel, which has recently welcomed Winter Olympic-related visitors including Antonio Guterres, Thomas Bach and Jack Ma. The hotel proper is the white tower in center, back. Photo: Park Young-chae
  • Korean Gallery, Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm. Hwang, working within a historic Stockholm building, predominantly incorporated wooden beams – key features in both Korean and Swedish traditional architecture. Photo: Hwang Doo-jin
    Korean Gallery, Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm. Hwang, working within a historic Stockholm building, predominantly incorporated wooden beams – key features in both Korean and Swedish traditional architecture. Photo: Hwang Doo-jin
  • A private weekend residence on Bomok, Jeju Island, incorporates two key concepts of hanok architecture: Views right through the home; and the integration of the structure with its natural environment. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
    A private weekend residence on Bomok, Jeju Island, incorporates two key concepts of hanok architecture: Views right through the home; and the integration of the structure with its natural environment. Photo: Kim Yong-kwan
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