Back To Top

Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism kicks off across Seoul

The Sewoon Plaza (Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism)
The Sewoon Plaza (Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism)

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism began Thursday under the theme of “Crossroads, Building the Resilient City,” exploring how the pandemic has transformed and impacted living spaces.

The third edition of the biennale encompasses five conflicting themes -- “Above/Below,” “Heritage/Modern,” “Craft/Digital,” “Natural/Artificial” and “Safe/Risk” -- focusing on how cities can become more resilient. The 2021 event will see the participation of more than 190 architects, designers and artists from across the globe.

The main venues of the biennale are the Dongdaemun Design Plaza located by the historic eastern gateway of Seoul and Seoul Hall of Urbanism and Architecture, located in the city‘s center.

Along with the two main venues, Sewoon Plaza will be used as a venue connecting the two. Built in 1968, Sewoon Plaza is a residential and commercial building designed by the prominent modern architect Kim Swoo-geun (1931-1986). Five literary writers and five architects have created new stories and structures at the building. 

The biennale is formed with six sections: the thematic exhibition, cities exhibition, guest cities exhibition, Seoul exhibition, global studios and live projects.

The thematic exhibition shows works featuring artists’ various interpretations of the five themes at the heart of the biennale. The cities exhibition explores the immediate issues of cities while live projects consist of public programs with the people of Seoul.

The biennale is directed by French architect Dominique Perrault, who also curated the thematic and cities exhibitions.

First held in 2017, the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism is organized by the Seoul Metropolitan Government. As Korea’s first architecture biennale, the event focuses on cities and gathers their representatives to discuss challenges linked to the urban condition, as well as to share potential solutions.

Tickets to the biennale can be purchased on Naver at 15,000 won for a single entrance. A ticket with unlimited entrances throughout the biennale is priced at 25,000 won. A 30 percent discount is offered to those who purchase their ticket during the Chuseok holiday.

The biennale runs through Oct. 31.

By Park Yuna (