Rejuvenation of Post-war Building Makes the Top 10 in 2021 Seoul Architecture Awards

By: Tai Jeong

Country Director, Canada Wood Korea

A post-war military building ‘Inwang Guard Post’ has been nominated as a top 10 design in the 2021 Seoul Architecture Awards after receiving a modern renovation by Seoul-based architecture firm Soltozibin.

This facility carries both historical and geographical significance. After the Blue House Raid (S.Korea 1.21 Incident) in 1968, an unsuccessful attempt launched by North Korean commandos to assassinate the President of South Korea, Park Chung-hee, in his residence at the Blue House, on January 21, 1968, more than 30 military guard posts were installed near Inwang Mountain as part of tightened security measures. In 2018, both sides agreed to dismantle most of the guard posts and to keep two as monuments preserving the historical event.

The new building built on top of the reinforced concrete superstructure, which supported the demolished old guard post house, is reconfigured into a resting place for local residents and tourists. The building uses a glulam post-and-beam frame, an effective system that performs both structurally and aesthetically.

The widespread use of wood reflects the abundant forest in the Inwang mountain region. It brings the warmth and beauty of wood to the interior and promotes a healthy indoor environment for occupants. While memorializing a historical incident, the project aims at creating a space that promotes lasting peace for both countries.

Mr. Cho, the principal of Soltozibin Architect, has been recognized in South Korea as a wood design champion. His passion for wood construction started with following his engagement with Canada Wood Korea’s mission and workshop programs.