Over the years, architecture in Korea has become vastly diverse, with various elements and styles incorporated into it. The city’s skyline is very much dominated by skyscrapers, from office buildings to residential apartments.
Korean architecture may have undergone major changes; yet, it still retains the very sole characteristic of traditional Korean architecture – harmony with nature. In the past, houses were shorter but much more spacious, and with a more personal touch. They were of simple designs with colours of nature. However, due to rapid urbanization, houses today focus more on efficiency, in terms of the time taken to build a high-rise residential building. There isn’t as much emphasis placed on blending both the landscapes of nature and architecture.
In lieu of the current K-pop craze, we feel that it is equally important to raise awareness of the development of architecture in Korea since some traditional structures are still in use today. For instance, architects all over the world are trying to emulate the traditional Korean heating system (Ondol) in modern houses due to its efficiency and advantages. We might often take these structures for granted, but they are what contribute to the rich history of Korea, as well as to the essence of Korean dramas that many of us go crazy about. As crucial as the actors and plot of the show are, the places where they are filmed at make a huge difference to the quality of the outcome too.
Also, knowing more about how architecture in Korea has evolved helps us in understanding more about their way of life in the past, as well as how it has remained similar or differs from the present.
Although the sources we have used may not be entirely credible, we have had first-hand experiences in hearing and learning about these places from various tour guides on our personal trips.
Image Credits (in order of appearance in the video):
Wattle-and-daub houses with thatched roofs: Personal photograph by co-author taken at Korean Folk Village, South Korea.
Raised-floor architecture: Personal photograph by co-author taken at Gyeongbukgong Palace, South Korea.
Pumgyeseoks: Personal photograph by co-author taken at Gyeongbukgong Palace, South Korea.
Geunjeongjeon (interior): Personal photograph by co-author taken at Gyeongbukgong Palace, South Korea.
Yannick L. (2012). Small Crowd Applause Sound. Retrieved from http://soundbible.com/1964-Small-Crowd-Applause.html
iMovie. (n.d.). Thunder and Rain [Recorded by iMovie].
Hisaishi. J. (2007). Geomeul Village. On The Legend OST (태왕사신기) [CD]. South Korea:Kim Jong-hak Productions. (2007).
Sorea. (2006). 바람에 실어. On Princess Hours Original Sound Track [CD]. South Korea: Vitamin Environment. (2006).
Various Artists. (2006). 宮. On Princess Hours Original Sound Track [CD]. South Korea: Vitamin Environment. (2006).
Various Artists. (2006). 우주 정복 #1. On Princess Hours Original Sound Track [CD]. South Korea: Vitamin Environment. (2006).