Project description

The 2021 logo designed for the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Korea incorporates two national architecture icons, the Sydney Opera House (1957-1972) and the Seoul East Gate Heunginjimun (1400 circa). The logo reflects how architectural icons become symbols of a country and are recognisable globally.

This project aims to offer an interpretation of Australia and Korea through their architecture connecting the rich architectural history and heritage of Korea with the more recent one of Australia.

The project examines how looking back at the past is relevant for contemporary architectural design and how historical precedents help create new visions for architects.

By focusing on selected works of architects, Alec Tzannes from Sydney and Doojin Hwang from Seoul, who arguably support traditional values within their contemporary practice, this study will explore the following:

·        Do Tzannes and Hwang use their cultural history to create new visions in their architecture?

·        Do their different visions contribute to a legacy of architecture in each country?

The interest between Korea and Australia in the field of architecture was initiated in 2011 with the Korea-Australia exchange architecture exhibition held at the Seoul Museum of Art to celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between both countries. Since then the connections have been reinforced through the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism.

Importantly, this project aims to build on this interest and proposes an original and significant interrogation of assumptions about history, culture and construction materials in architecture through a comparison of two prominent and influential architects.

Australia and Korea are seeking to address questions of environment and sustainability at a national and global level. A critical appreciation of our built history is essential if we are to develop and strengthen cultural and social responsibility. This project will contribute to a vital cross-national conversation about architecture in the construction of 21st century cities.

By Dr Paola Favaro 11 November 2021

The research projects were funded by Australia-Korea Foundation (AKF) 

The research team comprises Dr Paola Favaro (UNSW) 

Contact person

Coordinator Postgraduate Research, Faculty of Built Environment Coordinator Master of Architecture Urban Stream, Architecture Program
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Doojing Hwang, Traditional Hanok House Jibwunheon 1, Seoul, Korea

Alec Tzannes, 1880s Heritage Terrace House, Paddington, Sydney