Ewha Woman’s University
The complexity of the site, through its relationship to the greater campus and the city of Shinchon, demanded a “larger than site” response, an urban response, a global landscaped solution, weaving together the tissue of the EWHA campus with that of the city.
A new seam slices through the topography revealing the interior of the EWHA campus center. A void is formed, a campus “valley” where nature, sport grounds, event locations and educational buildings mix, intermingle and
follow one another.
The gently descending “valley” leads to a monumental stairway through the campus center, bringing together the different levels of the buildings.
The two large glass curtain walls facing the external circulation ramp serve as elements for daylight and allow for natural ventilation of parts of the building as well.
The pastoral nature of the campus, with trees, flowers, and grass covering the campus center, is perhaps its most remarkable quality. The notion of weaving together the campus is again evident, blurring the distinction
between old and new, building and landscape, present and past.
Perrault believes that “concept and matter have to grapple one another.” His designs are often buried, excavated, or nestled places – like the French National Library in Paris and the Velodrome and Olympic swimming pool in Berlin. The idea of this underground university was born out of the desire to preserve a large green space in the center of the university campus.
The link between the architectural concept and the sustainable strategies adopted – underground building, green garden, landscape fracture – gives a strong identity to the building and enable extraordinary performances in terms of sustainability.
|A forum for the exchange of ideas as students gather after class to discuss their views, a piazza, with the cafeteria spilling out, creating a real “place” to stop and relax, an outdoor theater, as the stair can be used as an amphitheater, a sculpture garden, where indoor gallery events can push outwards.
It is this flexibility (conceptual and real) which permits the new EWHA campus center to inevitably weave itself into the landscape – sometimes a building, sometimes a landscape, sometimes a sculpture.
|/ Dominique Perrault|