Of the thesis entitled: Re-imagining the Compound: Regeneration of Block Urbanism in Seoul
According to Statistics Korea, more than half of country’s population now live in these apartments as of 20152. With new apartment compounds still sprouting throughout the country, this block urbanism is spreading at full force even after six decades after its first introduction. Such proliferation raises an urgent question: how can the city function if a single, homogeneous and inflexible typology that only serves a specific socio-economic layer of the society completely dominates its landscape? The problem is exacerbated as South Korea is experiencing a substantial demographic shift with one of the lowest birth rates in the world as well as a rapidly aging population. As the apartment blocks are mostly designed for a middle class family of four and built with a rigid concrete box frame structure, they are physically unable to respond to this change in demographic in their current form.
As the block urbanism is still prevalent not only in South Korea, but also in the Eastern Hemisphere, re-imagining these blocks is paramount to the global discussion regarding the future of our cities. How can the architecture and urban design of block urbanism be adapted to meet the shifting needs of the time while breaking down the inherent economical, social, and spatial barrier? The thesis explores both the social and spatial challenges of apartment compounds and proposes a series of design schemes of different spatial qualities, re-imagining the compound as a diverse, inclusive, and responsive neighbourhood.
The examining committee is as follows:
Adrian Blackwell, University of Waterloo
Maya Przybylski, University of Waterloo
Graeme Stewart, ERA Architects
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Wednesday January 6, 2016
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.
7 Melville Street South
Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4