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Ewha Women’s University Campus Complex

Dominique Perrault

Ewha Women’s University Campus Complex
By Monica Scanu -

South Seoul, the Korean capital, with its 17 million inhabitants is set among hills and valleys, crossed by rivers, canals and roads linking neighbouring hills. The new Ewha Women’s University, inaugurated on 29th April 2008, is located in the south of the city. Founded in 1886, it is one Seoul’s 40 higher education establishments and the only one exclusively for women. It has 22,000 students and is considered one of the best in the world. Designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, who was adjudicated the competition on invitation in February 2004, the new project was completed in less than three years by construction contractors Samsung Corporation.
The best way to appreciate the architecture is from the air. More landscape than architecture, the new construction fits into the existing university campus, a landscaped area where university buildings, outdoor events and sports areas form a continuum with the surrounding metropolitan setting. The new Ewha site is huge with some 350,000 m3 of built space. It consists of an upper area or “Dessus” with outdoor green spaces, sports facilities and open-air theatre, and a lower part or “Dessous”, comprising the university structures, services, and shops, standing in the area formerly occupied by Ewha Square.
You reach the Dessus part of the university by crossing the Jung Mun pedestrian bridge over the high-speed train tracks and continuing down a long asphalt path, past outdoor sports facilities, set amidst a highly landscaped yet natural looking area with pear trees, ornamental plants, sleek lawns and natural rocks. The park aims to blend old and modern, built and natural landscapes, present and past. It also forms a green roof for the building underneath, providing addition natural insulation as well as more outdoor space.
The Dessous can be admired from the edge of the deep gully - a dazzling white trench dug deep into the earth in stark contrast to the asphalt paths and track, and surrounding...

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