“Urban Revitalization Plan is rising as a core architecture project of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport” – this is an article from media few days ago.
Park Geun-hye administration has not promised any huge national project like Sejong-si and Four-river Refurbishment Project of the former administration. Lately, however, attempts to replace the world ‘development’ with ‘revitalization’ are observed.
Yes, it is true that revitalization of a city has a wide spectrum of meaning, method and object, from urban development to reuse of idle facilities.
Nevertheless, the urban revitalization projects done in the past were far from ideal. Ideal projects are, for example, town development, community design, small-scale phased development, revitalization rather than dismantlement and top-down method. But the history of growth and development of urban revitalization with use of bottom-up method clearly shows that the change of vocabulary would not fully hide the bad customs of the past.
We had written articles on our paper about winners of an architecture competition, which aimed to seek the best method to revitalize a gigantic facility in Cheong-ju that has not been in use and transform it into a visible storage museum. Our concern was that methodology of architecture might not be very useful for urban revitalization.
All three winners had different interpretations on urban revitalization. Their attempt to insert mass seemed common, but their core interpretations were distinguishable. In particular, the third winner completely removed the slab. And it was quite interesting that the more they transformed the original facility, the farther they were from winning. Because of this, some said the cost for construction and management might have been the main concern of evaluation.
No one would know which interpretation was the best, in fact. It would have been better if the participants were given opportunities to do some presentation or a discussion on their works.
By the way, the first architecture competition on revitalization of a power plant in Dang-in will be announced at the end of the year. The 2nd and the 3rd competitions will follow up later. And like we can see, most of the architecture projects will be about revitalization of existing facilities.
The government today is emphasizing the importance of transformation from industrial infrastructures into living infrastructures. Thus I hope no one would attempt to corrupt the true meaning of ‘revitalization,’ by adding elements of industrial development to it.
The article offers received.
Original article : http://www.conslove.co.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=31308 (Korean language)