Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea
208pp. July 2013
Architecture and Urbanism in Modern Korea
Author: Jung, Inha;
Recipient of 2015 ICAS Book Prize Reading Committee Publishers Accolade for Outstanding Production Values (Humanities)

Although modernization in Korea started more than a century later than in the West, it has worked as a prominent ideology throughout the past century—in particular it has brought radical changes in Korean architecture and cities. Traditional structures and ways of life have been thoroughly uprooted in modernity’s continuous negation of the past. This book presents a comprehensive overview of architectural development and urbanization in Korea within the broad framework of modernization.

Twentieth-century Korean architecture and cities form three distinctive periods. The first, defined as colonial modern, occurred between the early twentieth century and 1945, when Western civilization was transplanted to Korea via Japan, and a modern way of life, albeit distorted, began taking shape. The second is the so-called developmental dictatorship period. Between 1961 and 1988, the explosive growth of urban populations resulted in large-scale construction booms, and architects delved into modern identity through the locality of traditional architecture. The last period began in the mid-1990s and may be defined as one of modernization settlement and a transition to globalization. With city populations leveling out, urbanization and architecture came to be viewed from new perspectives.

Inha Jung, however, contends that what is more significant is the identification of elements that have remained unchanged. Jung identifies continuities that have been formed by long-standing relationships between humans and their built environment and, despite rapid modernization, are still deeply rooted in the Korean way of life. For this reason, in the twentieth century, regionalism exerted a great influence on Korean architects. Various architectural and urban principles that Koreans developed over a long period while adapting to the natural environment have provided important foundations for architects’ works. By exploring these sources, this carefully researched and amply illustrated book makes an original contribution to defining modern identity in Korea’s architecture, housing, and urbanism.

198 illus., 114 in color

For sale in East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand by Hong Kong University Press

Spatial Habitus: Making and Meaning in Asia's Architecture
Published in association with Hong Kong University Press and with the support of the Korea Foundation
“Inha Jung has written a fine volume, full of very well informed accounts of events, insightful analyses of projects, and nuanced ideas about the unique flow of architectural and urban modernization in Korea. Jung is a mature scholar who delivers a well-balanced and original account that is both ambitious in scope and delivered in unencumbered and economical prose, with lavish documentation should one want to go further into particular aspects. It is a book that can easily be read and appreciated by people outside the field, in, say, cultural or Korean studies, as well as by those without disciplinary affiliation who are simply interested in Korea.”  —Peter G. Rowe, Raymond Garbe Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, Harvard University
Author: Jung, Inha;
Inha Jung is a critic, historian, and professor of architecture at the Hanyang University, ERICA Campus.
Read an excerpt (PDF).

Part I Modern Life in the Colonial Period 
1 The First Urbanization 
2 The Genesis of Urban Housing 
3 Architecture and the Introduction of New Materials 

Part II Searching for Identity in the Developmental Period 
4 Urban Expansion and the Construction Boom 
5 New Urban Housing 
6 The Quest for Architectural Identity 
7 The Semantics of Technology 

Part III From Modernization to Globalization 
8 Discovering Reality 
9 New Paradigms for Urban Design 

Epilogue: A Correlative Architecture between the Void and the Solid 
Appendix: Profiles of Korean Architects and Planners