Back to South Korea, with students (looking back)

by Alexandra den Heijer

In the past two weeks professor Hans de Jonge and I travelled through South Korea with 24 of our TU Delft students (see previous post). We started by visiting harbour city Busan in the south. The urban municipal planning office of Busan city welcomed us on the first day and showed us some iconic projects like the Busan Cinema Centre and the construction site of the Busan Lotte Tower (see group photo below).

visit construction site Lotte Tower Busan

After Busan we visited the 2012 Expo in Yeosu with the theme “The living ocean & coast” – see 2012 Expo website for more info.

Expo 2012 in Yeosu – LED roof

Dutch design @ the Dutch pavillion – the first pavillion of many country and theme pavillions we visited

student association BOSS organised this study trip – this photo was taken by prof. Hans de Jonge at the 2012 Expo in Yeosu – five students formed the organising committee: Dora Baalman, Coen Geesing, Luuk Kops, Roberta Gutierrez Llaguno and Peter Horst

On Saturday July 14 we arrived in Seoul where we stayed for more than a week. In Seoul our academic and business program became really busy, with visits to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (architect Zaha Hadid) and Hanyang University on Monday and to Sangji Architects & Engineers (see website) and Heyri Art Village on Tuesday.

visiting the construction site of Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Park & Plaza – after an inspiring presentation of one of the project architects

thanking Sangji architects for their presentations – on the right: two members of the BOSS organising committee, students Peter Horst and Dora Baalman

At Hanyang University all professors contributed to an academic session – about (the changing context of) urban planning – also intended to compare education and research of both universities.

after giving lectures at Hanyang University – meeting the dean, the vice-dean and a professor of the department of Urban Planning and Engineering

group photo at the campus of Hanyang University

Some other photos of the first three days in Seoul are shown below, including my favorite urban project “Cheonggyecheon”: an 8.4 km (5.2 miles) long, modern public recreation space in downtown – see info on wikipedia.

my favorite Seoul project: Cheonggyecheon – flowing through downtown

part of our group in front of Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace…

in front of Seoul’s Gyeongbokgung Palace… zoomed in

On Wednesday we visited Seoul Development Institute – in a series of presentations of Dutch and Korean speakers we compared Netherlands and South Korea and Amsterdam – or better: our Randstad region – and Seoul. In the afternoon we were impressed by both the size and work of Samoo architects (see Samoo website). On Thursday we visited “The Green” by recommendation of Dutch architecture firm Architecten Cie / architect Frits van Dongen who designed part of a new sustainable housing area for client LH – Korea Land & Housing Corporation (see LH website). The Green demonstrates the newest sustainable measures for housing projects (see photos, also with our hosts).

visiting The Green by LH Housing – a photo with our hosts

sustainable housing unit – with many eco-friendly measures and a lot of flexibility in the floor plan


sustainable housing unit – also demonstrated in the Green as a complete mock-up scale 1:1

On Thursday afternoon we got a tour at Ewha Womans University. Last month I was impressed by both the ECC project (see photo and text in post) and this prestigious university. One woman started this university in 1886, which still shows in the university name: “Womans” from Woman’s, see EWHA on wikipedia.

thanking our host for the tour of (the ECC building of) Ewha Woman’s University

our student Dora Baalman, Ewha professor Judith Yoo Daun and me

group photo at Ewha’s iconic ECC building

On Friday July 20 we visited Savills in the morning and SeoulTech in the afternoon. Savills presented us the facts & figures of the office market and retail market in Seoul. They took us to one of the newest office buildings in Seoul’s Central Business District – see group photo below.

our complete group with Savills hosts, in front of a prime Seoul CBD office building (next to downtown stream / successful project Cheonggyecheon)

In the afternoon both professors and students enjoyed an academic visit to Seoul National University of Science and Technology – Seoultech (see website and Wikipedia). Our host professor Ock did not only lead the discussion about shared knowledge and research (Public Private Partnerships i n particular), but also offered our students “Friday afternoon drinks” in a very popular student bar. Both the academic connection and the social encounters were very much appreciated by (PhD) students and professors!

prof. Ock and me – after a fruitful academic discussion, at SeoulTech campus


enjoying “Friday afternoon drinks” near SeoulTech’s campus

As a token of our appreciation – and according to local tradition – professor De Jonge signed ‘our name’ on the wall: “20/7/2012 – RE&H / BOSS was here – TU Delft” (see photos below). BOSS is the student association of Master track Real Estate & Housing (RE&H).

as a token of our appreciation – and according to local tradition – professor De Jonge signed ‘our name’ on the wall

“20/7/2012 – RE&H / BOSS was here – TU Delft” (RE&H is TU Delft Faculty of Architecture’s Master track Real Estate & Housing)

This was an excellent end of a busy week and successful student trip. On Saturday July 21 we took a DMZ tour to North Korea, which was very impressive. On Sunday our group split to various Asian countries – some stayed in South Korea and some returned to Netherlands. Professor Hans de Jonge and I want to thank everyone – including our group members and especially the BOSS organising committee – for their valuable contributions and we also look forward to the student report!

To be continued…

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