Gangnam A5 Housing Block by Frits van Dongen wins Korean Architecture Award

Gangnam A5 Housing Block

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The Gangnam A5 Housing block in Seoul, South-Korea, has won the prestigious Korean Architecture Award (KAA) in the category of collective housing. The Korean Architecture Award is the most important architecture award in Korea.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The building complex in the hills south of Seoul represents a combination of Dutch housing tradition with the Korean cultural context. The neighbourhood, designed by architect Frits van Dongen, is therefore unique for Korean standards in residential architecture.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The urban plan is based on the topography of the landscape of the site, an ensemble of a new typology called ‘Tower Block Hybrids’, public roads and private inner courtyards.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The typology serves multiple additional functions which include: a clear distinction between public and private outdoor space, a gentle means of behavioural control: citizens are aware of the formal nature of the street and intimate nature of the inner courtyard, a sense of community between those who share the inner court and a safe and pleasant outdoor space.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The collective courtyards are inter-connected in a car free zone which enables an attractive living environment that stimulates informal encounters between residents. The Tower-Block Hybrids are positioned in such a way that sunlight can penetrate deep in the courtyards and views of the surrounding landscape are optimized.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

Despite its peripheral location, the Seoul Gangnam District Design Masterpiece Housing project turned out to be a real neighbourhood; a community which is connected to Seoul but largely self-sufficient.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

In this proposal van Dongen endeavoured to create a masterplan which forms an environment that is helpful in the formation of a community. Creating a community requires that residents are interconnected with one another and have a sense of ownership and pride of place.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik

The successful merging of Western-European concepts of living and the Korean context was an important factor for the quality of the area and the appreciation of it by residents and the jury of the Korean Architecture Award. Source by Frits van Dongen.

Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik
  • Location: Gangnam District, Seoul, South Korea
  • Architects: Frits van Dongen (Van Dongen-Koschuch Architects and Planners)
  • Project Team: Jan-Willem Baijense, Rui Duarte, Laura Mezquita Gonzalez, Sasha Hendry, Nam Dong Ho, Andrea Sooyoun Kim, Patrick Koschuch, Jason Lee, EunSong Park, Mathew Winter
  • Local partners: Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. Ltd.
    SUNJIN Engineering & Architecture
  • Landscape designer: Van Dongen–Koschuch
  • Client: Korea Land & Housing Corporation (LH Group)
  • Area: gross surface166000 m2
  • Photographs: Kim Myoung Sik, LH Group , Courtesy of Frits van Dongen
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © LH Group
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © LH Group
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © Kim Myoung Sik
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Photo © LH Group
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Site Plan
Gangnam A5 Housing Block
Plans

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