Posted on: 06/30/2016 Posted by: Amy Frearson Comments: 0

Graduate shows 2016: a gridded megastructure contains a creative workforce of 1,400 in this proposal by Royal College of Art graduate Ohyun Kwon to address the housing crisis in the South Korean capital.

Kwon proposes a gridded megastructure built using a prefabricated steel framework to keep costs low

Entitled Short-term Housing for New Labour in Seoul, the project proposes an alternative to the so-called “gosiwon” – the low-cost, month-to-month rental rooms occupied by city workers with unreliable employment.

Instead, it suggests a vast, steel-framed structure containing a “matrix of autonomous rooms”, where the city’s creatives can both live and work in a collaborative environment.

The three-storey structure would combine workspaces with compact living quarters and shared social spaces

“As being employed becomes a moral obligation, the project is born: a layer of work and live infrastructure as a means of social control,” explained Kwon.



“It can accommodate 1,400 highly educated self-programmed labours who have chosen to live and work together as freelancers or artists in the era of creative economy.”

The building would accommodate a creative workforce of 1,400 people

Kwon developed the proposal for the masters programme in architecture at the Royal College of Art. He was part of the ADS1 study unit, which focused on developing new models for housing.

The aim is for the city’s creatives to both live and work in a collaborative environment

The project is a response to the unemployment crisis in Seoul where, in 2013, 17 per cent of the population were classified as NEETs, meaning not in employment, education or training.

“In 2013, the president announced a new policy to develop the creative economy as a new engine of economic growth,” said Kwon.

“Gosiwons will not be sufficient any more as the dominant housing type for this new labour.”

There are 16 types of communal spaces in the building, ranging from cafes and saunas to a karaoke room

Working with a prefabricated steel framework to keep costs low, the designer proposes a three-storey structure that combines workspaces with compact living quarters and shared social spaces, ranging from cafes and saunas to a karaoke room.

These tap into the city’s culture for “bangs” – a word that translates as rooms but incorporates a wide variety of social activities. Kwon has created 16 different “bangs” in his proposal.

There are no corridors, so each space is directly connected to several others

“I think the emergence of these rooms can be seen as a response to the need to reestablish spaces for social interaction that got lost during the process of urbanisation,” he explained.

There are no corridors in the building, so each space is directly connected to several others.

Courtyards are dotted throughout, accessible to both occupants and the public

Storage spaces are built into the walls, plus residents can use a self-storage unit at the building’s perimeter to store their larger personal belongings.

There are also courtyards, accessible both to occupants and the public.

Storage spaces are built into the walls

Kwon claims the structure could accommodate up to 1,400 people and would be funded by a mix of small and medium enterprises, as well as by larger conglomerates.

Residents can also use a self-storage unit at the building’s perimeter to store their larger personal belongings

Short-term Housing for New Labour in Seoul is on display as part of ShowRCA. Dezeen is media partner for the graduate exhibition, which runs from 26 June to 3 July.

Other highlights include a toaster that sneezes out bread crumbs and a vacuum cleaner that poos, a proposal to relocate the Parthenon from Athens to London and an alternative to plastic made from cow’s milk.

Masterplan – click for larger image
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
First floor plan – click for larger image
Second floor plan – click for larger image

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