Chungmuro Print Town

Seoul, South Korea


There is beauty in the act of making old things new again.

This proposal for the Chungmuro bookmaking quarter in Seoul seeks to bring new life to an aging industrial neighborhood following on the global trend of the renewed urban arts district. But it does so with an almost reluctantly light touch, attempting to elude the visitor’s attention and recede into the background through the maximal use of existing elements, a minimal addition of new materials, and the visual concealment of only the most obsolete parts.

Following the alleys as they weave through paper factories, print shops, binderies, and packaging warehouses, visitors may encounter new awnings, patches of repaved road, exterior stairs to newly habitable rooftops, and, in a few places, metal mesh screens color-matched and fixed to existing walls to protect them from the elements without concealing the original.

Our hope in taking a more deferential attitude toward the neighborhood’s original character is that locals and visitors alike will appreciate Chungmuro Print Town for what it is and always has been, a place where age-old industries can continue to thrive, and where local residents and tourists can gather, whether they are aspiring authors making their own books, creative professionals and hobbyists who need to publish a portfolio, or readers who seek a rare print.

Chungmuro Print Town

Seoul, South Korea
There is beauty in the act of making old things new again.

This proposal for the Chungmuro bookmaking quarter in Seoul seeks to bring new life to an aging industrial neighborhood following on the global trend of the renewed urban arts district. But it does so with an almost reluctantly light touch, attempting to elude the visitor’s attention and recede into the background through the maximal use of existing elements, a minimal addition of new materials, and the visual concealment of only the most obsolete parts.

Following the alleys as they weave through paper factories, print shops, binderies, and packaging warehouses, visitors may encounter new awnings, patches of repaved road, exterior stairs to newly habitable rooftops, and, in a few places, metal mesh screens color-matched and fixed to existing walls to protect them from the elements without concealing the original.

Our hope in taking a more deferential attitude toward the neighborhood’s original character is that locals and visitors alike will appreciate Chungmuro Print Town for what it is and always has been, a place where age-old industries can continue to thrive, and where local residents and tourists can gather, whether they are aspiring authors making their own books, creative professionals and hobbyists who need to publish a portfolio, or readers who seek a rare print.