manuel alvarez diestro captures the hybrid countryside of south korea
photographer manuel alvarez diestro has journeyed, with his bike, across south korea’s countryside to document its striking architecture. despite being a relatively small territory, the country still manages to host over 50 million people: with sixty percent of land occupied by mountains, south korea needs to go vertical with its architecture. as a result, the countryside has turned into an urban realm — where high-rise towers seem to be emerging from the rural land, like vegetables growing from the fertile earth.
sangil dong, South Korea
all images © manuel alvarez diestro
manuel alvarez diestro takes on an extreme approach by representing the buildings as if they were actually rising from the ground— with no transition between architecture and land. this abrupt transformation is illustrated by the contrast between the soft-textured vibrant greenery and strict geometry of the towers. his photographs reveal incredibly different effects of the rural/urban contrast, simply by capturing different angles and locations.
the photographer uses different vantage points to convey the rural/urban contrast (pajusi, south korea)
despite the complete physical disconnection between the towers and agricultural lands, there appears to be a visual continuity between the natural and built layers —as smoothly illustrated through diestro’s photographic journey.
strict geometries are ‘naturalized’ by their different levels, like the trees in front (songtan, south korea)
monotonous patterns (ilsan, south korea)
the tips of the grass mirror those of the buildings (cheonan, south korea)
a city ’emerging’ out of the green land (uiwang, south korea)
different locations provide different typologies of architecture and vegetation (gimpo, south korea)
buildings are bridging the ‘gap’ between the crops (pajusi, south korea)
continuity between the ground and sky (songdo, south korea)
two different patterns blending together (gimpo, south korea)
edited by: lea zeitoun | designboom
manuel alvarez diestro (15 articles)
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