close-ups
Close up
Architecture
Image
Biennale d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme à Séoul
Crédits
© DR

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism took place from 16 September to 31 October 2021. 

Updated on 04/11/2021

5 min

With nearly 10 million inhabitants, Seoul is one of the most representative examples of major modern cities. As such, it is a particularly relevant setting for this international event focused on the development of towns and cities around the world. The Seoul Biennale, with its close links to architecture and urbanism, aims to offer a platform for dialogue, discovery and the promotion of projects and research that explores the city of today and tomorrow.

After the first two events, entitled “Imminent Commons” (2017) and “Collective City” (2019), the third Biennale, entitled “Crossroads: Building the Resilient City”, continued to explore cities around the world. While some forty cities were represented in 2017 and 85 in 2019, for this 2021 event Seoul welcomed contributions from over one hundred cities from five continents. This event is now a must for anyone who loves cities and all the issues that relate to them.

Visuel
Image
Dominique Perrault - ADAGP © Alexandre Tabaste
© Alexandre Tabaste Dominique Perrault Architecte_ADAGP
Texte
In October 2019, Dominique Perrault was appointed General Director of the third Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. He has a close and long-standing relationship with this city, in particular with the construction of Ewha Women’s University, which opened in 2008, and more recently the construction of the Gangnam International Transit Center. As with his other projects and research work, which establish close connections between architecture, landscape and urbanism, Perrault wants to take another step forward in asserting the city as the key place for the development of a more sustainable world. In addition to his role as General Director of the Biennale, he is curator of the exhibitions “Cities” and “Thematic”.

This third event, entitled “CROSSROADS: BUILDING THE RESILIENT CITY”, is, along with the Venice Biennale, one of the key architectural events to be produced in the wake of a pandemic that has deeply challenged the ways in which we operate. 

These transformations will have a certain impact on the construction of our living spaces, perhaps in favour of more hybrid or even a-programmatic architecture. This crisis probably means the end of the already much-criticised leitmotif of modern architecture, “form follows function”. Cities, central as they are to global issues, are now facing unprecedented challenges, including health risks, climate change, industrial decline, technological competitiveness and the management of migration flows. As such, the event’s director has chosen to set this year’s Biennale the theme of resilience. 

Entitled “Crossroads: Building the Resilient City”, the Biennale continued to explore cities through architecture, urbanism, art and design, with an emphasis on the virtues of dialogue and shared knowledge. Through a series of themed exhibitions, conferences and round tables, it aimed to start an active conversation on the city of the future. 

Six exhibitions were planned, bringing together 190 participants, 20% of them Korean architects. Participants have a wide variety of backgrounds and include young architects, researchers, town planners and renowned figures, such as several Pritzker winners. Over 100 global cities from five continents were represented. Within the main exhibition, 25% will be from Asia, 35% from Europe and 40% from the rest of the world. 

Image
Biennale architecture de Séoul
© DR
Biennale architecture de Séoul
Titre

The biennale venues

Visuel
Image
Biennale de Séoul
© DR
Texte
The Biennale was divided into six sections, each of which corresponds to an exhibition and its associated events and gatherings, organised on site or online.
Visuel
Image
B Séoul
© DR
Texte
1&2 - “Cities” and “Thematic” exhibitions - curated by Dominique Perrault – Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), the emblematic building of the city of Seoul, built by Zaha Hadid Architects.
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 2
© DR
Texte
The main exhibitions “Cities” and “Thematic” will feature 5 and 10 French architects or firms respectively, namely:
Franklin Azzi architecture, Bruther, Chartier Dalix SAS, uapS sarl, MDP Michel Desvignes paysagistes, Maco, galerie Patrick Seguin, Jean Marc Ibos Myrto Vitart, Marc Mimram Architect Engineer and Associates, Jakob+MacFarlane architects, Renzo Piano building Workshop, Lucy & Jorge Orta, Alexis Peyer/ MR&A, collectif Fragment, Collectif Vous.
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 4
© DR
Texte
3 - “Guest Cities Exhibition” - curated by Choon Choi – Seoul Hall of Architecture & Urbanism. The exhibition forum “Guest Cities Forum” will be the anchoring point around which architects, town planners, political decision-makers and academics will be brought together, at the cutting-edge of urban transformation.

4 - “Global Studios Exhibition” - curated by Archiworkshop - Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) Offers a space for projects arising from academic research. The works take the form of pavilions, selected through a call for proposals sent to universities around the world.
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 5
© DR
Texte
5 - “Live Projects Exhibition”- curated by FHHH Friends – Sewoon Plaza. Brings together experimental projects, associated urban installations and public events, in the public space of Sewoon Plaza, halfway between the two main sites of the Biennale, the DDP and the SHUA.

6 - “Seoul Exhibition" - curated by BARE - Seoul Hall of Architecture & Urbanism. Presents innovative architecture and urbanism projects developed in the South Korean city.
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 6
© DR
Texte
As part of the “Guest Cities Exhibition”, three French partner exhibitions have been hosted with the support of the French Embassy and the Institut français Paris:
• The exhibition Partager l’architecture avec les enfants (Sharing architecture with children) produced by Arc en rêve centre d’architecture (Bordeaux);
• The exhibition La ville au loin (The city far away) produced by the FRAC Centre-Val de Loire (Orléans);
• The exhibition L’art des sentiers métropolitains (The art of metropolitain trails) produced by the Pavillon de l’Arsenal (Paris).
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 7
© DR
Texte
Research institutes from three cities – New York, Venice and Los Angeles – have also joined the exhibition with their recent research projects on resilient urbanism.

Participating architects and designers include:
- Morphosis - Thom Mayne, Pritzker Prize winner
- Empt, Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale
- Elemental - Alejandro Aravena, Pritzker Prize winner
- Renzo Piano building workshop, Pritzker Prize winner
- Barozzi Veiga, Mies Van Der Rohe Prize winner
... along with a host of other talents, both established and up-and-coming architects!
Visuel
Image
B Séoul 8
© DR
Texte
This year’s event has a proud focus on dialogue and the sharing of expertise and approaches as fuel for the creative process of architecture and weaving the urban fabric. This is a Biennale that does not divide but rather brings together, assembles, fuses spheres of thought, considers and manifests the creative force of interactions, thereby creating a new kind of physical network that extends the limits of architecture. It is about the creation of a new and modern urbanity, one of sharing and pooling.
Présentation par Dominique Perrault de la Biennale d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme de Séoul 2021
Présentation par Dominique Perrault de la Biennale d'Architecture et d'Urbanisme de Séoul 2021
The Institut français and the Biennale

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism is organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government, with the support of the Institut français and the Cultural Service of the French embassy in South Korea. 

L'institut français, LAB