UPDATE : 2023.12.3 Sun 23:48
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Glory of grand prize for Changwon University Students

The Korean Institute of Registered Architects held a Gyeongsangnam-do Architecture competition. Changwon University students Kim Jieul (a 5th year student) and Bae Hyeonjae (a 3rd year student) received the grand prize in this contest. The competition centered around two themes, free subject and convergence of regional culture. Kim Jieul submitted her piece ‘TUNNEL LINE’ which was created from a waste tunnel. They gave her a great score because she used and recreated an old space. Bae Hyeonjae submitted ‘PARK SCHOOL’ and got a high score due to suggesting a convergence of regional culture. We met with Kim Jieul, who received the grand prize, and had a conversation about her piece.

Q: You are in your 5th years, does the Department of Construction Engineering consist of a five-year program?

KIM: There are 2 main types of majors, Architecture engineering and the Department of Construction Engineering. Architecture engineering consists of a four-year course like other majors, but the Department of Construction Engineering is for people who want to learn architectural design and it consists of a five-year course.

Q: Could you explain your piece and the contest?

KIM: My purpose in making this ‘TUNNEL LINE’ was for the citizens. It is designed as a platform to provide cultural sites and parks. There is a gym, an exhibition, and a library in the tunnel and a large park is constructed on the ground. I submitted a model and panel which describes my piece to be evaluated. After this initial screening, my presentation was evaluated.

Q: Did you go through any difficulties while making your piece?

KIM: To make the internal model was hardest work I’ve ever done. The ground section can be displayed naturally, but to create something in the underground tunnel was really hard work. In other words to express my idea to the judges was not easy. Moreover, I didn’t use common materials like normal people who use only plaster. I built the tunnel with not only plaster but also cement as I wanted to make my piece look real. I had to spend more than 2 months to finish my initial plan for design because a different consistency can be made from different ratios of the two materials. I also failed to complete my piece lots of times as well. Many people think that making a model takes more time than the design, but the process for establishing my idea to make the model took much more time. For example, I had to think carefully after visiting a real tunnel site. Moreover, I had to make a blueprint for it. A model is created at the last part of the process of this work so it does not take as long compared with previous processes.

Q: Where did you get your idea from?

KIM: My idea was from Gaegeum-dong, ssang-gu, Busan. A real waste tunnel is located there. In fact, people are leaving and commercial districts are moving away to other cities since the tunnel has closed. The real Busan citizens even don’t know where Gaegeum-dong is located. I really feel sorry whenever I see these kinds of sites. And then I decided to design something like ‘TUNNEL LINE’ to handle these problems. Thanks to this contest I could suggest my idea to use an abandoned area such as waste tunnel. My curiosities for designing and making something since childhood helped me a lot to prepare for this contest.

Q: What do you think of architecture?

KIM: Architecture is not only about creating buildings. It is an extensive field because we can make a park, cultural area or many other things like my piece. In some ways, Architecture involves humanities and philosophy because we have to make an environment or building by following a specific life style or purpose. For example, cities are full of buildings which look like a forest. I hope to use an abandoned area between these buildings to make a park and cultural area. If it is possible to recycle our useless areas, we can be comfortable and rest from our busy lives. For these reasons, I don’t want to say that architecture is just designing buildings.

She has been closely observing her surroundings during her daily life. That’s how she could reach her idea and receive the grand prize. Obviously, there is much to learn from our interview with her.

The Piece (‘TUNNEL LINE’) which gave her a grand prize

Park Joon-ho  micheeen12@naver.com

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