Below are the tours being offered during the Open Cities Conference, Seoul. 
All tours require a minimum of 12 attendees to proceed or will be canceled.


Friday, June 20, 2014, 1pm-4pm  |  $60 USD Walking Tour

Tour Guide: Hayub Song, Chung-Ang University
The tour starts from Gyeongbok-gung, a Korean dynasty palace, and proceeds to Seochon, the western area of the palace, which covers Okin-dong, Nuha-dong, and Tongin-dong. The tour includes visiting a local architect’s office, an architectural archive, an artist’s museum, Seochon Hanoks, traditional Korean houses for nobility, and local alleys that interconnect an old market and vintage shops. This area is located at a valley of Inwang-mountain and Susungdong valley area that was frequently depicted in Korean traditional paintings of the 16th century.


Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9am-1pm  |  $60 USD Walking Tour

Tour Guide: Gibson Rhie, Samoo Architects & Engineers

This Seoul architecture tour encompasses the past, present and future of Korea's capital city. The tour starts at the Royal Ancestral Shrine, tour de force of Korean traditional architecture - Jongmyo, the supreme state shrine of former dynasty. It's imposing and magnificent roof emphasizes the character of Korean "unadorned simplicity." It is "sublime" style can be found in this royal compound. This "Shrine of Ancestors" serves as symbolic place emphasizing "Dynasty's direct link with Heaven" by embedding political idealism of Confucianism in the urban design of 14th century, which was strongly influenced by the Archaic period of Chinese city planning (around 1,000 BCE). 
The tour continues to Cheonggyecheon. This is the best example of how Koreans' perception of environment changed very rapidly along its path of modernization. 1970s urban renewal project covered the stream with concrete and made 8 vehicle lanes that welcomed cars and expelled pedestrians. In early 2000s, the city embarked an unprecedented project of taking down concrete motorways and bring back stream into daylight that cost 900 million US dollars. It initially attracted much public criticism but, after opening in 2005, has become popular among city residents and tourists.    
The final destination of the tour is the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP). Designed by Zaha Hadid, this new addition to Seoul's architecture scene is right beside Seoul's age old Eastern gate. This new design and convention center will function as an epicenter that promotes awareness of design as a 21st century leading industry. The metal cladding of the building makes a stark contrast with age old fortification. Zaha/ Samoo's team made an effort to make distinction between built form and ladscape blurry and achieve sense of place in the most difficult site in Seoul. 


Tuesday, June 24, 2014, 10am-6pm  |  $150 USD Bus Tour

Tour Guide: Jun Sung Kim, Konkuk University
Over past 30 years in Korea, city-scale developments have been built on the periphery of the ever-expanding capital city of Seoul with high density. Less than ten years, the necessity for alternative forms of urban development that would better suit contemporary needs and desired lifestyle has been raised by residents and architects. 
The Heyri Art Vllage, few miles away from North Korea is a prime example of this new form of urban planning. The total area of Heyri is about 500,000m² and it has 5 mounds and a swamp in the middle which supplies the water to the rice fields. The half of total area is reserved for roads and greens including mounds and swamp. The other half is for 380 lots which belong to individual owners and they are mostly engaged in art fields. The maximum building coverage of each lot is 50% and rest of them are preserved for public spaces and green area. Therefore, the flow of those open spaces became the major theme of Heyri.
In our visit, we will visit several buildings, starting from Heyri Community House, Hangil Book House, Camerata, etc. and some small residences. The last building to visit will be the Mimesis Art Museum designed by Alvaro Siza which is located in Paju nearby Heyri.

Questions? Please call or email ACSA: 

p: 202.785.2324




Saturday, June 21, 2014, 9am-1pm  |  CANCELED

Tour Guide: Jaemo Cho, Kyungpook National University
Changdeok-gung palace is the most famous and important site among Korean cultural properties. It was built as the 2nd palace of Joseon Dynasty but actually used for longest time of the dynasty. It is estimated as the most Korean style palace architecture; pavilions are put on non parallel several axes with green forest. It is the most preserved original shape among existing palaces of Joseon Dynasty. On those scores, Changdeok-gung was designated as UNESCO’s World Cultural Heritage in Feb. 1997.
Bukchon is the famous old town in original Seoul. There lived lots of government officials and Yangban. Since it is located in the northern part of Cheonggyecheon and Jongno, people named this area Bukchon, which means northern village. In the late Joseon Dynasty, the large-scaled land was partitioned into small-sized building sites for social and economic reasons. It is assumed that the hanoks closely located together in the village were rebuilt around 1930s. The change in the form of hanok reflects the densification of the society due to the urbanization began at that time in Korea. Bukchon’s historic sites and cultural heritages from the Joseon Dynasty to modern times tell visitors the history of this area.