works          feed            info        ︎

Yulgok Street

Yulgok Road was born from a cruel road construction project during the Japanese colonial era. It runs through the land between Jongmyo Shrine and Changgyeong Palace. Many cultural heritage sites in Korea have suffered a similar fate. Restored cultural heritage sites have been subject to "imaginary restoration." This mentality fails to appreciate the inherent value of historic sites and does not consider the needs of future generations. Yulgok Road should be reborn as a functional and culturally rich street. Instead of being merely a tourist attraction, it should be designed to foster cultural continuity and create a meaningful space for visitors to engage with and appreciate the rich history of the area. Only then can we ensure that our cultural heritage is preserved and celebrated for generations to come.

Year : 2019
Site : 102, Yulgok-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Instructor : Heejoon Whang
Category : Undergraduate Thesis
Role : Individual Work

『 The Venice Charter (1964) 』

Article 9.
“The process of restoration is a highly specialized operation. Its aim is to preserve and reveal the aesthetic and historic value of the monument and is based on respect for original material and authentic documents. It must stop at the point where conjecture begins, and in this case moreover any extra work which is indispensable must be distinct from the architectural composition and must bear a contemporary stamp. The restoration in any case must be preceded and followed by an archaeological and historical study of the monument.” 

The Birth of Yulgok-road

In 1931, during the Japanese colonial era, Jongmyo shrine and Changgyeonggung Palace were separated from the rest of the city as part of a new city plan. This resulted in a disconnection of cultural properties from the people and contributed to the suppression of Joseon culture. Despite this, the roads that were formed during this time have continued to be actively used and have played a role in the rapid development of Seoul.

Overlaps of 1931 and 2019

Maps from before 1931 are not reliable for identifying specific locations or features.
Therefore, it is reasonable to use 1931 as the starting point for restoration efforts, as it is difficult to accurately determine the historical significance of earlier periods.

Modern restoration projects should be done not from the presumption and just focusing on increasing tourism.

Overlaps of 1931 Wall line

Reconnecting the old connections and reinterpreting the “Bukshin Gate” to vitalize the whole Yulgok Street. Make a 300m journey to contemplate daily lives.

Spaces Found in Two Heritages

The restoration methods and spatial characteristics of Jongmyo Shrine, Changgyeonggung Palace, and the surrounding cultural heritages will be examined. Even if the same spatial composition is expressed with different materials or differnt types of space, and the key elements are maintained.