WallGaeDong Public Housing Revitalization
월계사슴2단지 공간복지 프로젝트
2019 Korea LH Corporation Initiative
In early 2019, Korea Land and Housing Corporation initiated a program, namely, 'Space Doctor,' which aims to revitalize the public spaces within outdated public housing blocks located in Seoul City. Twenty-three faculties from various universities were invited and assigned a community to investigate the physical and non-physical problems and provide spatial treatments.
Korea's public housing supply rate is still less than the OECD average; it has been inevitable that policy discussions on quantitative supply have been prioritized. Public housing is recognized as a mass-produced policy product rather than a living environment with design diversity accommodating residents' spatial needs. Contemplation on quantity and quality must go hand in hand, and fortunately, changes are starting to show amidst the forest of concrete blocks. The Space Doctor project was a very timely attempt at a time when it is more necessary to think about the quality of life and social integration of the underprivileged than ever due to the increasingly deepening gap between the social classes.
SaSeum Block 2 project, one of the few, which have been realized per the proposal, is located in WallgaeDong, Seoul comprising 764 low-income apartment units. With an unusually high proportion of the elderly, economically inactive populations, and single households, the role of shared spaces that can induce social participation seemed of paramount importance.
Many pockets of public spaces were left idle due to a lack of consideration for the contextual surroundings. The ubiquitous ‘Jeongja’ pergolas – a shelter typology derived from traditional Korean structure- stood barely inviting any users due to their inflexibility to accommodate diverse ergonomics of people. Oversized playgrounds without children, pedestrian walkways frequently cut off by roads all seemed to require interventions for revitalization.
Various physical problems eventually produce non-physical social issues such as the absence of a community and an increase in the number of reclusive residents living alone. Rather than looking for isolated physical problems confined to the type of public housing, the team focused on a system that could enable flexible communication and exchange that, in the long term will maintain a sustainable community. Through several workshops with the residents, a few solutions were suggested. To create a sense of belonging for the community of 764 people, we proposed its own street furniture design. Composed of pergolas, benches, and tables, the design can adapt to the various ergonomic behaviors and needs for different levels of privacy. The project also includes reprogramming the open spaces for real community interactions, expanding the unused rooftop space for indoor community cafes, and creating continuous walkable pedestrian passage within the block. All completed through direct discussions with the residents - investigating the conditions and problems and conceiving various solutions.
© 2020 by a.d.r.p