Design of the Former National Tax Service Building Site on Sejong-daero as a Historic Urban Landscape

역사도시경관으로서 세종대로 (구)국세청 별관 부지 설계

Seo, Young-Ai

  • Received : 2015.12.31
  • Accepted : 2016.02.23
  • Published : 2016.02.29


The Seoul metropolitan government announced an open design competition for reconfiguring the annex building of the National Tax Service Building site on Sejong-daero as a space for citizens to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Korea's liberation. The site, built during the Japanese colonial period, has been in use ever since. This study, as one of the entries for the competition, described the strategy and design contents by drawing the concept and main points of the design through an analysis of the historical context of the site. As the guidelines instructed to consider the value of the Sejong-daero area and the cultural heritage through a comprehensive analysis, this study specified the site as a place connecting the past, present and future. Since the foundation of the Joseon dynasty, the Korean Empire and the Japanese colonial period, Sejong-daero has been a main site for important events and activities along with the change of the city structure. Jungdong, to the rear of the site, was a place for adopting new culture during the beginnings of modern Korea, while adjacent places like Duksugung, the Anglican church, and the Seoul City Council building have also been historic urban landscapes of the historical layers of time as the city has changed. When Gojong announced the Korean Empire, the city structure was remodeled with this site as the center along with Sogong-ro, Wongudan and so forth. In this study, public interest stated in the guidelines was focused and the relevance of the road and the plaza was considered from the view of an historic urban landscape by a comprehensive analysis with Sejong-daero as the center. The restoration of public interest was to be drawn as the concept of the object site by considering the current status and the change around the site and Jungdong at the rear. Returning the site to the public is ambiguous with the relevance of the restoration of public interest and as the symbol of the idea of the Korean Empire by Gojong's announcement. The object site, having the characteristic of being returned to the public, must ensure public interest and therefore the design strategy has been established with the keywords of openness, connection and void. As a result of a review of the alternatives, a plan for a square has an 8% slope, just as the original site does, and provides ramps for convenient access for all, including the disabled and the elderly, and is connected to the grounds adjacent. No construction is allowed at the terrace square of the Anglican church level and the main square connected to the pedestrian street, so a variety of modern city utilization can be done. The value of the site at which this design is aimed shall be given back to the public with the concepts of modern democracy, independence, and the vision of Gojong by reinterpreting the space from a modern viewpoint. This study focused on the processes of establishing a main concept and strategy rather than the content of the design details, and the suggestion is meaningful in that the design for the object site with historic backgrounds and the layers of time can continue to be grown.


Historic Urban Landscape Approach;Design Competition;Jungdong;Re-public


  2. Chae, H.(2012) Proposals for Urban Conservation based on Historic Urban Landscape Concepts -A Case Study of Seo-chon in Seoul. Master's Thesis. Seoul National University. Seoul, Korea.
  3. Choi, W.(2013) A Study on the Use and Function of Public Square as Behavior Setting. Master's Thesis. University of Seoul. Korea.
  4. Hanseongdo(1861).
  5. Jang, E.(2012) Proposing a Comprehensive Conservation and Management System for the Surrounding Areas of the World Heritage Sites: A Case Study of the Jongmyo Shrine and the Changdeokgung Palace Complex in Seoul, Korea. Master's Thesis. Seoul National University. Seoul, Korea.
  6. Kyeongseongdo(1910).
  7. Kyeongseongsigado(1927).
  8. Lee, T.(2005) Review of Gojong Period. Taehaksa.
  9. Lim, H. (2010) Seoul Identity of Road. Seoul Development Institute.
  10. Lim, S.(2011) Seoul Architecture of Japanese Colonial Period. Ewha Womans University Press.
  11. Ahn, C.(2009) Duksugung. Doneok.
  12. Bandarin, F. and R. Oers(2014) The Historic Urban Landscape: Managing Heritage in Urban Century. Chichester: Willy Blackwell.
  13. Naver map(2015).
  14. Park, H.(2010) A study on the symbolic spatial representation of the Daehan Empire, Wongudan. Journal of Seoul Studies (40): 107-158.
  15. Park, J.(2012) A Study on Delineating Buffer Zone of Jongmyo and Changdeokgung World Heritage Sites. Master's Thesis. Seoul National University. Seoul, Korea.
  16. Park, S. and J. Choi(2005) The study on the extension․transition process and use of event space in the city -Focusing on the street space of Jong-no. Journal of Urban Design Institute of Korea 6(2): 41-54.
  17. Seoul Historiography Institute(2009) Road of Seoul.
  18. Seoul Metropolitan Government(2010) A Study of Identity on Seoul City.
  19. Seoul Metropolitan Government(2015a) The Guideline of Design Competition.
  20. Seoul Metropolitan Government(2015b) Broadcast Data.
  21. Seoul Museum of History(2012) Jeongdong in 1900.
  22. Seo, Y.(2015) Analyzing the design competition entries for the Hoehyeon section of Namsan from a perspective of the historic urban landscape. Putting the past into the future. The Historic Environment 4(1): 3-18.
  23. UNESCO(2005) Vienna Memorandum on "World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture-Managing the Historic Urban Landscape."
  24. UNESCO(2011) Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.
  25. UNESCO(2013) New Life for Historic Cities.
  26. Veldpaus, L., A. P. Roders and B. J. F. Colenbrander(2013) Urban heritage: Putting the past into the future. The Historic Environment 4(1): 3-18.
  27. 朝鮮と建築(1936) 15(3).