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Innovative Designs Changing Face of College Campuses

Posted August. 22, 2008 08:15,   


Yoo Eun-jeong, a university junior majoring in composition, does group study at a table equipped with monitors. “When I need a break from studying, I often watch the Olympics on the Internet with my earphones plugged in,” she said.

The building has three basement floors and six stories above ground, featuring state-of-the-art facilities including a studio with an editing machine for video and a high definition camera.

Combining a study room with transparent boards and computers with a small movie theater has transformed a library into a multi-faceted cultural complex. The face of university campuses have been changed by a slew of large architectural projects full of innovative design and functions.

○ Mushrooming high-tech buildings on campus

Ewha Campus Complex, a multiple high-tech campus center, was opened in April at Ewha Womans University located in Seoul.

The complex was designed by French architect Dominique Perrault, who created a valley for buried, hidden and excavated places using the site’s sloppy topography.

ECC brought a complete makeover of the campus from the main gate. Though the building was constructed underground, one does not feel underground while inside. Its outer walls were made from transparent glass panels, enhancing the lighting from windows. Another characteristic is energy savings of 10-15 percent by circulating cool underground air to the inside of the building.

The main gate of Hongik University in Seoul features a large building with a square-shaped hole in the middle. Hongmungwan, completed at the end of 2006, has become a landmark with its distinctive design. The building has six basement floors and 16 stories above ground, and cost 100 billion won (95 million U.S. dollars).

Korea University also complemented its main campus plaza in the northern Seoul district of Seongbuk-gu in 2002 and finished its underground campus center Hana Square in September 2006. The complex, with three basement floors and one ground floor, is shaped like a boat floating on water and has classrooms, seminar venues, a fitness center, performance and exhibition halls and a hamburger joint.

○ High-tech buildings boost school image

Architectural experts say college campuses have been affected by the latest urban architectural trends in preferring super-size, multi-function buildings.

Lee Jae-hun, an architecture professor at Dankook University, said, “In the past, facility functions were separated according to the building`s use, but people now prefer a variety of facilities in one building to handle various needs. By building large high-tech facilities, colleges absorb the functions managed by nearby commercial quarters.”

“In design, ECC of Ewha Womans University and Hongmungwan of Hongik University presented new types of architecture not seen in the architecture industry.”

Utilizing full-scale state-of-the-art campus centers, universities have effectively handled space shortage while boosting their image with a modern and refined look.