Through the first half of the 20th century, Seoul seemed destined to remain in the shadow of the region's neighboring mega-cities Tokyo and Beijing. Since the late-80s, however, the South Korean capital has thrown its hat into the ring and assertively managed to attract vast amounts of culture and commerce.
The holiday season's most noteworthy new book releases ranges from a beautifully illustrated book investigating the library as typology and a sociological study on the metamorphosis of New York's Far West District. Plus, a fascinating look at the rising importance of infrastructure, multifaceted perspectives on the notion of scale and a study on the role of architecture in the films of David Lynch.
Vanguard architects who step onto the global stage by building across the continents often broadcast their advances - their competition wins, prizes and limelight-grabbing exhibitions - but rarely air their trials and tribulations. Zurich-based architect Christian Kerez is an outstanding exception to this rule.
First off, COBE's winnig design for Adidas' new flagship building in Germany. Then, the competition for the new Guggenheim Helsinki narrows down considerably from over 1,700 proposals to just six, some exciting (soon not to be) science fiction and a preview of MAD's Lucas Museum in Chicago and Heatherwick's proposed Garden Bridge in London.
For nearly two thousand years, China's imperial rulers built and expanded the Great Wall - the world's largest work of military architecture - for just one purpose: to protect the empire from an invasion by foreign barbarians and their culture. This mindset continues to this day - as evidenced by the construction of China's Great Firewall - so the wall seems like an unlikely site to invite a series of foreign architects to join their Chinese counterparts in creating a cluster of experimental works aimed at attracting visitors from all over the world.