Ep. 23 – Peter Choi on Seoul’s Architecture and Design

Peter Choi is a transplanted architect from New York City and has lived in Korea for 13 years. He is a Design Principal and an adjunct professor of architecture in Seoul. He’s responsible for designing buildings like Mirae Asset Center 1, State Tower Namsan and most recently Lotte L7 Hotel Hongdae and a 26-hundred bed dorm at Ewha Women’s University.

Peter also served for two terms on the Seoul Architecture Design Review board, was a board member for six years at Seoul Foreign School, and even had a program on TBS eFM.

We cover a lot of ground in this interview, talking about the architecture and design of Seoul, how the city has evolved over the years, we talk about the Korean perspectives on the discipline and how architectural sensibilities and education are evolving on the peninsula. You can connect with Peter at peterchoi@dmppartners.com


Show Notes

01:27 on first impressions of Seoul’s architecture / how to describe it

04:30 moving away from functionality / impact of Cheonggyecheon

06:30 north vs south of the river / where to find unique architecture

08:47 what do Koreans look for in architecture / what is the Korean perspective

13:15 trends in Korean architecture / lack of regional diversity / modernism

23:15 why be an architect in Seoul / Peter’s unique design

29:03 working in a Korean environment / what Koreans do really well

32:11 what’s missing from architecture

34:16 thoughts on DDP

36:00 pet peeves in architecture

36:44 favorite spots in Seoul

39:08 what’s missed most about life in the U.S.

40:00 the next frontier for architecture / retraining

42:42 finding success as an architect


People, Places, Things Mentioned in the Show

Bjarke Ingels

Cheonggyecheon (청계천)

Dominique Perrault’s Ewha Campus Complex

Frank Gehry’s Bilbao effect

Hallyu (한류)

Kim Joong-up (김중업)

Kimm Jong Soung (김종송)

Kim Swoo-geun (김수근)

Le Corbusier

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe

Peter Eisenman

Rem Koolhaas

Richard Meier’s Seamarq Hotel

Seoul ‘matchbox’ apartments

Tongin Market (통인시장)

Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) (동대문디자인플라자)


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