The international competition, initiated by the city of Samcheok, Korea, invited architects to create a new memorial to commemorate the voyage to Usanguk undertaken by Yisabu - the legendary general and politician of Silla Kingdom during the 6th century - conquering the island nation off Korea’s east coast. The design produced by A+U Lab for the competition, tells the story of Yisabu’s voyage and its historical significance while highlighting the inherent qualities of the site and its surrounding area. Titled “Memorial in the Paths”, the design creates new paths that run within the site weaving various elements including picturesque mountain, historic temple and ruins, and the existing community buildings and streets with the new memorial. The paths - consisting on-ground walkway and elevated open-air structure containing education, experience and leisure spaces - converge and separate at multiple points in linear sequence, creating gradually changing built environment in which view, light, elevation and spatial depth adjust as needed to create spaces suitable for various programmed spaces. The key design feature of the memorial is the ‘Sail’- pivoting stretched fabric panels located along the inner perimeter of the memorial path for calibrating light and views; the ‘Sail’ filters or deflects light to suit the programmed spaces along the path, and directs visitor’s views to various points of interest within the memorial park. In addition, the ‘Sail’ - consisting Teflon coated fiberglass fabric with internal metal frame and colored LED light - serves as a symbolic design element representing Yisabu’s sea voyage and creates the iconic imagery for the memorial park. The concept masterplan for the memorial also aims to transform the village that is in decay. With three main goals established - physical regeneration, cultural regeneration and livelihood regeneration - the project will inject a bottom-up approach initiating a village revitalization with active community involvement, introducing limited commercial, culture and arts uses built on storytelling of the local history linking the village with the new memorial. The majority of the buildings in the village will be preserved through repair and improvement work. As well, limited number of new buildings wil be constructed with injected art, culture and community functions. With the newly introduced path that links the village with its surroundings, A+U lab’s design of Yisabu Dokdo Memorial adopts a comprehensive and proactive approach to the memorial design that aims to shape quality urban environment for the local residents.
A+U Lab is an interdisciplinary design and research collaborative for architecture and urbanism. Led by Lawrence Kim, an architect and professor at Pusan National University, A+U Lab engages in diverse projects through design consultancy and academic research working regionally and internationally.