Concrete architecture in Seoul

Concrete architecture in Seoul

Concrete architecture abounds in Seoul from Brutalist masterpieces like the 1970 Old Seoul Country Club by Sang-jin Ra to contemporary creations like Sae-min Oh's 2014 Interrobang. 

Dr. Seo's Women's Clinic Building by Chung-up Kim, 1967 is now Arium Office Building.

(Dr. Seo's Women's Clinic Building by Chung-up Kim, 1967 is now Arium Office Building.)


Our latest title, Concrete Seoul Map, offers a unique look at Seoul’s unsurpassed history of concrete architecture from the 1960s to today. Concrete construction, heralded by renowned architects such as Swoo-geun Kim, is now the signature of many Korean architects.

concrete seoul map blue crow media

(Concrete Seoul Map by Blue Crow Media)

This map highlights the most unique and influential examples of concrete buildings and structures across the city. Architects featured include Chung-up Kim, Swoo-geun Kim, MVRDV, Steven Holl, Zaha Hadid, Sae-min Oh, Hee-soo Kwak, and many others.

old seoul country club by blue crow media concrete seoul architecture map

(Old Seoul Country Club by Sang-jin Ra, 1970. This Brutalist structure was renovated in 2011 by Sung-yong Joh & Choon Choi and is now offered to nature in a eco experiment seemingly gone very well.)

Eunpyeong Public Library blue crow media concrete seoul map

(Eunpyeong Public Library by Jae-hwan Kwak, 2001)

Professor Hyon-sob Kim writes in the map’s introduction, “From early on, Korean architects explored expressive qualities of concrete in architecture, with or without other materials. If Chung-up Kim, who had apprenticed in Le Corbusier’s office in Paris, showed the romantic plasticity of concrete through the French Embassy in Seoul (1962), Swoo-geun Kim’s Sewoonsangga (1967-70) revealed the power of the concrete megastructure.

Kyungdong Presbyterian Church by blue crow media

(Brick exterior of Kyungdong Presbyterian Church by Swoo-geun Kim, 1981. The concrete interior, resembling the interior of a certain whale, may be seen during services.)

Contemporary architecture in Seoul is developing more abundant and sensitive vocabularies of concrete: such as unification of the structure and expression of buildings with a delicate treatment of concrete; Brutalist approaches to the material for ethical or aesthetical reasons; and new prefabrication systems utilising ultra-high performance concrete panels.”

interrobang blue crow media seoul map

(Interrobang by Sae-min Oh, 2014)

Concrete Seoul Map (in English and Korean) may be purchased here.

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