david adjaye & taiye selasi: gwangju river reading room david adjaye & taiye selasi: gwangju river reading room
dec 20, 2013

david adjaye & taiye selasi: gwangju river reading room


david adjaye & taiye selasi: gwangju river reading room
photo by kyungsub shin

 

 

 

for the the gwangju biennale foundation, architect david adjaye and writer taiye selasi have developed a ‘folly’ – the gwangju river reading room. as its name suggests, the pavilion is positioned on the embankment of the gwangju river, connecting the street level above with the grassy flood planes used as a seasonal park. adjaye was drawn to the project by the opportunity to collaborate with a like-minded novelist. selasi, who is a a rome-based author, shares adjaye’s ghanaian descent, london upbringing, and ivy league education. the structure draws reference from traditional korean pavilions and houses a human rights library of books, from chimamanda ngozi adichie’s ‘half of a yellow sun’ to emile zola’s ‘germinal’.


the reading room serves as a space for public gatherings and events
photo by kyungsub shin

 

 

 

the gwangju biennale foundation is proud to announce the collaborations with renown academics, writers, and artists grappling with both the history and contemporary relevance of the ‘folly’ that informs strategic interventions in public space.

 

gwangju folly II artistic director nikolaus hirsch and curators philipp misselwitz and eui young chun have developed a curatorial approach within the ambiguities of a ‘folly’ as a critical tool of inquiry to address the condition of public space. since the may 18, 1980 democratic uprising, the negotiation of public space in gwangju has played a crucial role in the transformation of south korea—it has even come to signify a model for effective political mobilization. contextualizing the potential of spatial interventions, the eight newly commissioned follies here seek to test the constitution of public space—in contemporary gwangju as well as in the global context.

 

the ‘follies’
eight follies have been realized and present a ‘detour into delirium’ throughout the city of gwangju, and at times they are even moving targets (on the metro or a mobile hotel), galvanizing the space between the everyday and the utopian, examining the present-day constitution of public space as a political arena:

 

david adjaye & taiye selasi: gwangju river reading room
ai weiwei: cubic meter food cart
seok-hong go & mihee kim: memory box
rem koolhaas & ingo niermann: vote
raqs media collective: autodidact’s transport
do ho suh & suh architects: in-between hotel
superflex: power toilets / UNESCO
eyal weizman with samaneh moafi: roundabout revolution


details


images of the construction


at the inaugural ceremony on november 10, 2013

roof project rendering

 


project rendering

 

all images courtesy the architect-writer team and gwangju biennale foundation

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

    PRODUCT LIBRARY

    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    architecture news