Crystal Workhub

Transforming an underground gallery in the heart of Seoul.

The situation 

Located in the historical center of Seoul, the Euljiro gallery is a 2.7 km long underground tunnel used mainly for metro access, shopping areas, small restaurants, and convenient stores. Working in collaboration with the EWHA Womans University in Seoul, the gallery was divided into 100 meters long sections, each of them assigned to a group of students from either EWHA or EPFL. The sections were developed in an «exquisite corpse» method, a technique invented by the surrealists where every participant continues the work of the previous one without seeing it. Here it was done in a way where every group would develop its program and project without looking at the previous and following sections.

The proposal

 In a desire to connect back the offices to the heart of the city, we wanted to integrate them inside the tunnel next to the many existing programs. From the tedious commute, to the cold, uniform lighting, a new fresh breath was necessary in the tunnel. In this sense, we sought to bring the outside to the inherently internal morphology. While the west-east metro is two stories underground, the north-south metro is five stories under the surface. Basing our work on the programmatic plurality of the hub, the ground was opened up, introducing the outside within the tunnel, and bringing in natural lighting. The west-east metro becomes a tram line, connecting seamlessly with the workspaces, various shop and cafés, cutting down commute times.

In collaboration with Alex Orsholits