The new campus complex for the EWHA Woman's University in Seoul is part building, part green space and part sculpture. This constructed landscape is molded like a canyon and topped with gardens that fill the Shinchon area with an unexpected yet welcome park. Designed by Dominique Perrault Architecture, the campus is formed by two linear buildings that sandwich a long multi-purpose plaza, which can be used for lectures, events, recreation space and leisure. This slice also gives both buildings a narrow footprint that encourages the infiltration of natural daylight.
EWHA Woman’s University is Korea’s first educational institution for women and is located in the Shinchon area of Seoul. Dominique Perrault won an international competition to design the complex, which was completed in 2008. The campus complex is a large-scale underground structure consisting of approximately 66,000 sq m of floor area with a total of 6 levels below the ground. The building houses underground parking garages, classroom space, a cafeteria, and exhibition space. Circulation through and in between the buildings offers a direct route for students and area residents and weaves the facility into the urban space.
Glass facades on either sides of the building allow for penetration of natural daylight even though the buildings are technically underground. The rooftop gardens are part landscape and part sculpture and provide extra green space for the university as well as the city. The central canyon gently slopes down and then steeply ramps up with a broad staircase and serves multiple purposes for the complex. This large plaza provides access to a number of departments along the building, each appropriately numbered. The space also serves as a forum for gatherings, outdoor lecture areas, outdoor seating and eating, exhibition space and the stairs provide seating for a natural amphitheater.
Images ©André Morin / DPA / Adagp