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east elev. photo J. Lovekin, April 04
view from roof terrace over motorway to the Han River. photo: J. Lovekin, April 04
wall of light to entrance patio. photo: J. Lovekin, April 04
ARU design drawing, ground floor interior
north elevation. photo: J. Lovekin, April 04
parking ramp at Paju wetland level. photo: P. Christou, April 04
photo: Kim JongOh, July 04
entrance courtyard, photo: P. Christou, April 04
interior with wall of light. photo: P. Christou, April 04
ground floor interior. photo: P. Christou, Oct 04
night view. photo P. Christou, April 04
entrance courtyard view to Simhak Mountain. photo: P. Christou, April 04

YoulHwaDang Publishing House, Paju Book City, South Korea

Florian Beigel + ARU London, Kim JongKyu + MARU Seoul

(building completed Dec. 2003)

The YoulHwaDang building was commissioned by Mr. Yi KiUng the President of YoulHwaDang and the Chairman of the Culture Foundation & Cooperative of Paju Bookcity to be a prototype demonstration of the urban stratification strategy for Paju. Roughly speaking the first and second storey of the new Book City (up to the 10 meter height of the adjacent motorway embankment) are part of the lower urban strata belonging to the ground, to the wetland, the streets and public space. The third and fourth storey of the city are the upper urban strata belonging to the horizon, with large views of the Han River landscape to the west and the Simhak Mountain to the east.

The two-storey base building of YoulHwaDang takes up the full area of the site, and has patios carved out of it. Its roof terraces support the pavilion of the horizon.

Youl Hwa Dang Publishing House is built as a bridge over the original wetland terrain. The ground level is the landfill level, roughly one storey above the original wetland level. The car park of the building is at the former wetland level of the land.

Generally one wall in each room is a wall of light. These walls of light are built of light diffusing materials, a double layer opal polycarbonate material with vertical fluting on the inside, and cast glass panes 'standing' on horizontal steel shelves fixed to the outside of the building. The light that comes through these transparent walls is quite soft. The walls of the building that do not face inner courtyards are constructed with a dark stained timber rain-screen.

The concept of space within the YoulHwaDang building can be described as a cluster of studio houses arranged around several courtyards or madangs, (the space that is formed by the arrangement of rooms in a traditional Korean house). The studio houses are all double-storey, each with its own staircase. Youl Hwa Dang is a house of good rooms where one goes from room to room, including outdoor rooms (madangs). It is not a house with an open plan and it not a house of corridors and rooms. It is very flexible in use and at the same time has strong architectural identity. The rooms bring a domestic character to the publishing house.

Selected Publications

AMC Le Moniteur Architecture
Special Issue, VERRE / GLASS ARCHITECTURE 35 projets / projects, 'Societe D'Edition Youl Hwa Dang, Youl Hwa Dang Publishing House Paju Bookcity-South Korea, by Dominique Boudet, p.66-70, Groupe Moniteur, Paris, 2007, ISBN: 2 281 193128.
Architectural Design
Landscape Architecture Site/Non-Site, Guest-edited by Michael Spens, ‘Landscapes of the Second Nature, Emptiness as a Non-Site Space’, by Michael Spens, Vol 77, No 2, March-April 2007, p. 88-97, ISBN: 13 9780470034798, ISBN: 10 0470034793.
'P'aju Book and Media City, near Seoul, Korea, Landscape as Infrastructure for New Cities', by Florian Beigel and Philip Christou, issue 57, 2006, p.38-44, ISBN13: 978-3-7667-1713-9
'Paju Book City South Korea', by Tim Abrahams, Dec. 2006, p.56-62.
'In praise of emptiness', by Joseph Grima, issue 879, March 2005, p.30-47.
Context 3 Korea
'The Architectural Design of YoulHwaDang Publishing House in the context of the plan of the urban landscape of Paju Bookcity', Issue 241, Sept. 2004, ISSN 1227-611103, p.40-61.
Building Design
'The written world, by Ellis Woodman, 18 June, 2004, p.12-18.


Building Design
'Decent exposure', by Kieran Long, 09 March, 2001, p.14-17.