Nowhere, Now here
Experiential Node: Gleaned Human Senses

The site in Seoul’s Songhyeon neighborhood used to be a distant island in the city—but last fall, it arrived before the public in a new form as an urban park. Presented for the first time in a century under the name “Songhyeon Green Plaza” (Songhyeon Plaza), it is a place where multiple layers of urban, historical, and geographic connotations overlap, and it also serves as the main venue for the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. Accordingly, On-site Project envisions multifaceted experiences based on direct interactions with the public in an urban context, along with the particularities of an exhibition format situated in an outdoor park venue and the environmental changes associated with weather at the exhibition site. The On-site Project exhibition experiments with the spatial possibilities of Songhyeon Plaza, a setting located in an urban center.

The On-site Project proposes architectural devices for weaving the overall site together with the area around the venue, taking into consideration the natural phenomena of the Green Park along with the physical connections to the Thematic Exhibition’s “Sky Pavilion” and “Earth Pavilion” and the network of exhibitions within the site. The various types of pavilions presented during the Biennale will be a starting point in re-establishing the identity of the place through proactive encounters with the public, as they pose the question of what role the park is able to play as a time-limited setting open to the people for the next two years. For these pavilions, the special situation of being able to view natural scenes within the city (including the mountains of Bugaksan and Inwangsan) is a basis for encouraging a new awareness of the spatial nature of the open outdoor setting connected with the city. At the same time, it also serves to tie together the different routes that lead to other features in the areas: the Seoul Museum of Craft Art, the Samcheong and Insa-dong neighborhoods, and the Gyeongbokgung Palace complex.

Over the past decades, pavilions and follies have honored their roles as event venues and as architectural or artistic installations. In the case of the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, different connections are suggested between Songhyeon and the surrounding city, serving as guides to movement within and outside the site. In addition, they will play the part of “experiential nodes” as independent spaces. Visitors can also experience the Green Park in a different way as the individual sites make use of natural elements (the earth, sky, wind, etc.) along with various visual, perceptual, tactile, and cognitive elements associated with the city. This is an event: a piece of land, unveiled after 110 years, forming its first-ever relationship with the city around it by way of architectural devices, the pavilions.
Besides the role of the Songhyeon site as a park, another important consideration in providing a multifaceted experience within an open urban setting was the diversity of the “pavilion” medium. Historically, pavilions have been reflections of human society, economics, and culture, developing as they have performed various roles in terms of innovation, resistance, interaction, events, and cultural activities. Over the years, pavilions have been explored in various forms based on their structures, materials, architectural methods, and so forth. For the On-site Project three elements were emphasized in particular: construct-ability, spatial character, and immateriality.

The first of these, construct-ability, refers to the creation of fluid relationships between the physical structures that make up a city and the people who use them. The second, spatial character, involves infusing the city with unusual and unpredictable spatial qualities that stem from the characteristics of the pavilions’ materials. The last concerns the experience of an “urban sense”: in referring to this as “immateriality,” the emphasis was on the experience not simply of architectural elements (walls, columns, floors, etc.) but of a cognitive space that enlists our organs of vision, hearing, and other perceptions. These elements are a constellation of “gleaned human senses” experienced by people in public settings; they are the collective memory of Songhyeon-dong as a “neighborhood without memories.”

With the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism taking place at the Songhyeon site, “On-site project” has taken on a more critical role than ever before. This will be an opportunity to reflect on the role of pavilions as experimental structures in architecture and art over the past 25 or so years—and, most importantly, to contemplate the role of the first architectural structures in Songhyeon and their positive contributions in an urban context. The public can experience the pleasure of an everyday encounter with different layers of architectural devices, from the urban scale all the way down to street furniture. Through architectural experiments situated in the countless historical layers of Songhyeon as a neighborhood, this can be an exhibition where visitors are left experiencing a sense of place in their first encounter with the site.

Curator: Sara Kim

Venue: Songhyeon Green Plaza

Assistant Curator: Young Jae Park, Yong Jin Jo

Structural Engineer: Kwang-jae Yoon, GARAM Structural Engineering

Translation: Na Yeon Kim, Ji Yoon Park, Colin Mouat


Kimchi and Chips

Reworld pavilion is built from thousands of physical portals that transform the city into versions of Seoul 100 years from now. These physical renderings are co-imagined by the participating architects of the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, and an AI image generator that creates refracted mosaics using the physical city surrounding the installation. The pavilion remixes the city, creating new relationships between the built environment, various biomatter, the atmosphere and the ground.

The pavilion considers the role of an architecture biennale as a situation of image exchange, where future imaginations are handled and manipulated in the form of rendered images. These images shape the aspirations of the city’s citizens and determine the relationship between the city’s past and future. The Reworld Pavilion is an alternative technique for handling these images, offering up the physical city itself as a malleable material upon which we can form our imagination.

Sponsors: Arts Council of Korea, Gyeonggi Contents Agency, Lumitec Precision optics manufacturer

Kimchi and Chips, the Seoul-based art collective founded in 2009 by Mimi Son and Elliot Woods, explores the intersection of art, science and philosophy through their ambitious large-scale installations. Their practice is rooted in the recognition that art, science, and philosophy are not distinct disciplines, but rather alternative ways of mapping the same terrain that should be used in tandem. Their work has won several awards and has been presented at the National Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA Korea), ZKM Center for Art and Media, Somerset House, Ars Electronica, ACC Gwangju, Zeche Zollverein, SxSW and Resonate Festival, and continues to influence contemporary art and technology.

Kimchi and Chips/ Mimi Son, Elliot Woods
Team: Boeun Kim, Chris Kang, Sangbong Lee, Nilesh Kumar
Production Partners: C2 Artechnolozy, Lumitec, Industry Bridge
Assembly Team: Eun Sang Jo, Yubeen Moon, Jong Min Shin,In Kyu Hwang, Sean Maylone
Engineering Consultants: Allesblinkt, Whatever Together, The Garden In The Machine
Photography: Texture on Texture
Special Thanks to: Sasha Pohle, Hojun Song, Rob Hernandez


Plastique Fantastique

In the heart of Seoul, right beside the traditional palace of the Joseon Dynasty, a pneumatic space emerges from the ground. The location of Songhyeon Dong carries a complex history, with various uses and owners over time. This (in)visible sculpture, filled with air, serves as a temporal connector, transcending the dimension of time during the Architecture Biennale in Seoul.

Inspired by the intricate complexities of the site, the artist came up with the idea of searching for relics from the past that might be hidden within its soil. Indeed, during the site visit in April 2023, they found several artifacts which were lying under the ground of the location.

This process will be amplified during the Biennale by inviting local people and visitors to join the excavation, each with its own story to tell. Found objects will be affixed to the interior wall of the installation to construct a collective sculpture that presents and questions the entangled history of the place.

An immersive soundscape will also reveal the vanished pine forest that was once believed to “filter the energy” toward the palace. The juxtaposition of visual perception and tactile sensation will engender a multi-sensorial experience, both mysterious and immediate.

Sponsors: ARRI Lighting Solutions

Plastique Fantastique is an art duo that creates immersive spatial installations, challenging the notion of reality and the limits of our senses. Each project invites the public to explore an imaginary landscape within the existing world, questioning the paradoxical nature of perception and the complex layers of our surroundings. These (in)visible installations merge art, performance, individual stories, people, and architecture to provide a multi-sensory experience that blurs conventional boundaries and transcends the imagination.

Plastique Fantastique/ Marco Canevacci, Yena Young
Team: Sebastian Podesta, Lucas Sere Peltzer, Erick Montefort, Pihla Pellinen
Soundscape: Marco Barotti, (Assistant) Misha MacLaren
Landscape: Young-sung Jeon
Special Thanks to: Anna Anderegg

Pair Pavilion: A Double Portrait

Pezo von Ellrichshausen

The almost invisible figure stands… as a simple equilateral triangle. A single opening, in its front, projects the visitor beyond its interior. The façade turns into a threshold: a gap of everyday life, a portrait of Seoul’s long forgotten blank, Songhyeon. The Pavilion becomes a space out of this world.

The thin, corridor-like space contains a pair of logs at each end. A theatrical stage, a charged void, obliges visitors to face an unavoidable encounter. Between whom? Perhaps a mother and child, strangers, or fictional faces: ideas – about nature, the future, or our human responsibilities. The pavilion then can be interpreted as the moment where Ethic returns to social life, as French philosopher Levinas puts it: the face speaks to me and thereby invites me to a relation, opens the primordial discourse whose first word is obligation.

Pair Pavilion, as its name suggests, is meant to have two lives: a temporary one at Seoul Biennale, and a permanent afterlife at Medongaule Garden, an unprecedented Nietzsche-inspired botanical garden currently being developed in Yangpyeong. In the end, the pavilion itself will become a double portrait.

Sponsors: Medongaule Garden

Pezo von Ellrichshausen is an art and architecture studio founded in 2002 by Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen. They live and work in southern Chile, in a farm at the foot of the Andes Mountains. They are Professor of the Practice at AAP Cornell University and the current Louis I. Kahn Visiting Professor at Yale University, and have also been Visiting Professors at the GSD Harvard University, the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, the Porto Academy and at the Universidad Catolica de Chile. Their work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, the MAXXI in Rome and as part of the Permanent Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Carnegie Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. They have been invited to the Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition (2010, 2016), where they also were the curators for the Chilean Pavilion in 2008.

Pezo von Ellrichshausen/ Mauricio Pezo, Sofia von Ellrichshausen
Collaborators: Beatrice Pedrotti, Lukas Vajda
Local Architects: Simplex Architecture
Structural Engineer: Kwang-jae Yoon, GARAM Structural Engineering


Frank Barkow + salazarsequeromedina

THE OUTDOOR ROOM is a pavilion for the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism and is an architectural device to sense land and city. The simplicity of the square structure aims to capture the complexity of the environmental and cultural history which endows great significance to the opening of its site, Songhyeon-dong, to the public. Once an ancient pine forest attached to a royal palace, in the second half of the century, Songhyeon-dong was a void, enclosed by walls and isolated from the rapidly growing urban environment around it. As the walls come down and the park opens to the public, becoming available to the citizens of Seoul, it remains enclosed by the density of the city surrounding it. Therefore, THE OUTDOOR ROOM is a void within a void which frames the history of change for land and city.

Its construction assembles materials which have been repurposed from another structure designed by Diagonal Thoughts. The lifecycle of these elements transcends the structure itself as they will carry on after the biennial and become adapted to a new use once again. Within the limits of its current form, visitors will discover a garden of native plants and a chimney which reverberates with the wind. It will be a place of arrival, and a place to stay for a while and sense the sky, the mountains, and the tops of buildings.

Sponsors: Sociedad Mercantil Estatal de Acción Cultural SA / PICE-Mobility Grant(Programa para la Internacionalización de la Cultura Española), The Embassy of Spain in South Korea

Frank Barkow
Founder and partner at Barkow Leibinger, Frank Barkow is an educator, researcher and practicing architect educated at Montana State University and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. His pragmatic approach embraces design in a discursive way which allows the firm’s work to respond to advancing knowledge and technology. Since 2016 he is a professor at the Princeton University School of Architecture and has previously taught for Cornell and the Harvard GSD.

salazarxsequeroxmedina is an award winning collaborative architecture practice founded in 2020 by Laura Salazar, Pablo Sequero and Juan Medina, with ongoing projects in Spain, Perú, and the US. They currently hold positions at Montana State University, Syracuse University and Tulane University. Recently, they have been selected as part of Next Generation Europe, 40 under 40 emerging practices.

Frank Barkow + salazarsequeromedina/ Frank Barkow, Laura Salazar, Pablo Sequero, Juan Medina
Invited poet for poetry reading event during on site talk: Jimin Seo

Sound of Architecture

Riccardo Blumer - USI Mendrisio

Inspired by the theme of the 4th Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism, “Land Architecture, Land Urbanism,” Sound of Architecture creates a soundscape in the heart of the city, expressing the deep connection between shape, sound and perception.

Sound of Architecture is an interactive installation designed and built by the students of the USI Università della Svizzera Italiana, Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio during the 2022 fall semester led by professor Riccardo Blumer with the supervision of Arch. Dong Joon Lee, co-founder of the Stocker Lee studio.

The installation consists of 23 wooden volumes, disposed in space in a linear sequence, so to make a crossable tunnel. Each section is an individual piece, designed and built by its creator but becomes part of a bigger system when connected to the others. Each student has been given a dimensional limit but has been encouraged to experiment with different shapes and colors.

Visitors are encouraged to walk through the installation and look towards the sky, in order to experience the connection between the colorful shapes, the day light shining through and the music soundtrack. Each element contains a sound system that allows the surfaces to vibrate to become a resonating system that amplifies sounds depending on the geometry.

A soundtrack was specially composed by Nadir Vassena, composer and teacher at the conservatory of Lugano.

Sponsors: Embassy of Switzerland in the Republic of Korea, Swiss Fund Korea, Swissnex, Daanchoen

Riccardo Blumer graduated in Architecture from the Milan Polytechnic and trained in Mario Botta’s office. He has designed numerous buildings, exhibitions and furnishings, but his design works in particular have received prestigious recognition. He works in groups such as Blumer and friends, in which he devised the “Physical Exercises of Design and Architecture”, permanent and temporary exhibits, teaching exercises, conferences and seminars. Since 2013 he is the Professor at the Academy of Architecture-USI and from 2017 to 2021 he was the director of the Academy of Architecture, USI in Mendrisio where he is a professor of “Architectural Design” and “Introduction to the creative process”.

Riccardo Blumer - USI Mendrisio
Sound Artist: Nadir Vassena
Supervisor: Dongjoon Lee
Assistants: Matteo Borghi, Francesco Tencalla, Lisa Bianchi, Ettore Contro
Students: Shiping Zhou, Luis Schrewe, Marco Coppola, Yolanda De Ramon Caamaño, Gabriele Alvise Bianchi, Aapo Niinikoski, Lucia Thea Zanti, Egon Canevascini, Matteo Miretta, Edoardo Paghini, Silvia Pennisi, Bianca Maria Longoni, Luigi Chierico, Elena Robatto, Giuseppe Luca Gambino, Maxime Jacques Reol, Andrea Rizzi, Maryia Sidorenko, Soler Roda Jordi, Yannic Olivier Fratini, Michele Ruggero, Gentian Zhivanaj, Emanuele Varalli

Seoul Drawing Table

Francisco Leiva

Closely linked to the “Seoul 100-year Masterplan” exhibition, the event consists of building the city of the future of Seoul by explaining and demonstrating through drawing that the city is built from the place where it is located, from its geography, from the flow of water, wind...

This action goes beyond artistic entertainment, generating a debate among participants about the future of the city. It intends to make people understand that urbanism emerges from the place, just as creative processes can also emerge from the place. It is a way of associating a kind of intuitive process with functional results.

After the event, the wooden piece can be used as urban furniture in line with the biennale’s zero waste commitment.

Session 1. 2023. 9. 3. 1PM
Session 2. 2023. 9. 9. 4PM
Francisco Leiva Ivorra graduated from the Valencia School of Architecture (ETSAV) in 1998, and in 2017 was awarded a Doctorate in Architecture by the University of Alicante (UA) for his thesis entitled ‘Redrawn Choreographies’. Since 1998, he and the agronomist Marta García Chico, have directed the multidisciplinary team Grupo Aranea established in Alicante. Its projects seek to be deeply anchored to the place where they are located. They are characterized by the creation of places that induce social encounters, a continuous commitment to the revitalization of public space, blurring the boundaries between landscape, architecture and art. Francisco has received several awards including European Award for Architectural Heritage Intervention in 2021, The Barbara Cappochin International Architecture Award in 2015, European Prize for Urban Public Space, European Sustainable Construction Holcim Award, FAD Award City & Landscape in 2014 and FAD Architecture Award in 2010.

Project Team: Grupo Aranea (Rocio Fernández Hernández, Andres Llopis Pérez)
Hand made Paper Artist in Collaboration: JAERYO Sang Won Oh

“Jitda” Pavilion

Junggoo Cho

“Jitda”, meaning build in korean, is a pavilion that acts as a spatial device which summons our senses and memories of houses before hanok or the original form of homes deeply engraved in our subconscious mind. The yard in the center serves as a peaceful space that attracts sunlight and wind while providing protection from the elements and the erratic external environment.

While the initial intention was to cover the roof with the ground to preserve the sense of the original form, the roof and the walls are covered with “sanja,” which is not usually exposed in hanok architecture, in consideration of visitors’ safety and structural management as well as the image of the space. By incorporating sanja, the pavilion becomes a space full of light and shadows that welcomes visitors to freely move around and contemplate.

Old timber found at a sawmill was used for the construction of the pavilion and low mounds surrounding the pavilion were made with soil dug up from the site. The pillars were erected without a cornerstone after compacting the ground. Pillars, purlins and beams were placed on the pillars using a simple construction method and rafters were covered on the roof and exterior walls. After the sanja was constructed on the rafters, vines such as luffa, gourds, cucumbers, kidney beans, and morning glory were grown to cover the outer walls.

Passing through the bamboo grove at the entrance, visitors to the Jitda Pavilion will see a round yard with gudeul, old floor heating stone, laid out under an open sky in a quiet space like a forest. During the day, shadows from the round roof moves like a sundial, and at night, the moon rises in the round sky as the pavilion lights up the dark like a lotus lantern.

Sponsor: Hanok Cooperation,Architectual Lighting Design, Hanok Recycling Bank (Buck chone HRC Co., Ltd)

Junggoo Cho was born in 1966 and grew up in Seoul, South Korea. Cho earned his Bachelor's and Master's degree from the Department of Architecture & Architectural Engineering at Seoul National University, after which he received his PhD from the University of Tokyo. In 2000, he founded guga Urban Architecture where he continues to perform design work and field surveys under the theme of “universal architecture that resembles our lives.”

Team: Junggoo Cho + Tae Do Chung + Kyu-Hi Han
Architecture: guga Urban Architecture(Junggoo Cho, Yoneda Sachiko, Jongho Cha, Donghee Kim, Namu Cho, Jaejun Kim, Yoonsang Kim, Sunu Cho)
Carpentry: attitude architecture
Landscape: URBANICS Co., Ltd.
Construction: 594 arquitetura
Documentation: TechCapsule

The 4th SBAU
The 4th SBAU