ABOUT:

Cho & Urano is an architecture firm in Salt Lake City, Utah providing a full scope of services on projects of various types and sizes, and engaging in architectural research through experiments and theoretical projects.

We started in 2020 after winning an international competition with our project House for Our Mothers. Prior to that we worked in offices in Los Angeles, Beijing, Seoul, San Francisco, and New York.

We approach each project as a continuing investigation into relationships between architecture, structure, and landscape, using sketches, models, and collected images.

Our research has touched on a variety of subjects, including houses, housing, urban design, and infrastructure. It has been exhibited in Seoul, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and has been published internationally in A+U, Shinkenchiku, and others.

BIO:

HANSONG CHO, AIA

hansong@chourano.com
Hansong Cho received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Seoul and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. She has managed numerous residential and cultural projects in New York for the offices of Kyle May, Toshihiro Oki, and Julian von der Schulenburg. Her personal work has been exhibited at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the Hunter East Harlem Gallery in New York, and was featured in a retrospective exhibition of Columbia University’s best housing projects produced over a 40-year period. She has served on design juries at RISD, UCLA, USC, and Texas Tech, and is an associate instructor at the University of Utah School of Architecture. Hansong is a licensed architect in the State of Utah.

SASHA URANO

sasha@chourano.com
Sasha Urano grew up in Honolulu and Salt Lake City. He holds a BA in Architectural Studies from UCLA, where he graduated with distinction, and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. He has worked in a number of offices in the U.S. and Asia including Jones Partners Architecture, MAD, Mass Studies, and IDEO. Prior to co-founding Cho & Urano he spent four years as a project architect at Levenbetts in New York where he managed, among other things, a winning competition proposal for a public sculpture in Lower Manhattan and the renovation of a public library in Brooklyn. He has served on design juries at UCLA, USC, and Texas Tech, and is an associate instructor at the University of Utah School of Architecture.

NEWS:

  • Center for Bees featured in the Salt Lake Tribune, May 2023
  • Cho & Urano Receive Honorable Mention in Namdo Righteous Army History Museum Competition, 2022
  • House with a Corner Eave Wins Runner-Up Prize in Empowered Living Design Competition, 2021
  • Three Wall House and House with a Corner Eave Exhibited at AIA Utah Empowered Living Design Awards Ceremony, 2021
  • Salt Lake City Office Opened, June 2021
  • House for Our Mothers Published in A+U No. 592
  • House for Our Mothers Published in Shinkenchiku 2020:01
  • House for Our Mothers Awarded First Prize in Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 2020





banpo connection





Principal use: Public Park, Museum, Infrastructure
Project Site: Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea
Site Area: 22,000 sq m.
Total Floor Area:
46,000 sq m.
Design period: 2024.03
Host: Banpo Jugong Complex 1 Housing Reconstruction Project Association
This is a park for the Banpo neighborhood of Seoul, Korea. It is also a roof, bridge, museum, noise barrier, sculpture garden, bird sanctuary, hiking trail, and viewing platform.

What it is is less important than what it does, which is to connect certain things to other things and disconnect certain things from other things. Through selective connection and disconnection this park seeks to reconcile the convergence of awkward site and programmatic forces presented by the brief, including:

  1. A site with an irregular shape and significant changes in elevation
  2. The need to orchestrate the coexistence of busy roads, a pedestrian crossing, and public open space
  3. To include a new museum to be housed in a disused apartment building
  4. To provide a transition between the repeating glass apartment block on one side and the world of gentle curves, flowing water, and vegetation on the other

Borrowing from the undulating coastline of Seorae Island, the park takes the form of a ring-shaped mound that has been stretched in response to pedestrian access points and vehicular traffic flows. It is a three-layered building with three artificial grounds: an elevated upper ground full of plant life that spans over the highway; a middle ground that continues the ground at street level; and a lower ground depressed into the earth, which houses the museum exhibition experience viewable from above like a buried ruin.

Movement between the layers happens at two speeds: slow at the perimeter where trailheads lead up onto the vegetated roof, and fast at vertical cores where stairs and an elevator are positioned at key points of vertical connection. Openings in the upper and middle layers transmit light, air and important visual connections to relate the three otherwise distinct spatial experiences.

The wildness of the rooftop garden has more in common with the traditional palace gardens of Korea’s past than it has with the more recent landscapes in this neighborhood. It is intentionally wild, a rambling network of walking paths loosely implied by ragged edges of scrub and tall grass, conceived as a semi-random arrangement of natural vegetation native to the region. Like Seoul’s famous Changdeokgung Palace Garden it is rough and untamed, a piece of simulated wilderness enclosed by an artificial boundary.

When a thing is enclosed the mind does not willingly regard it as common. In the tradition of old Korean gardens an enclosed piece of wild landscape is both common by virtue of its raw, unmanicured naturalness, and uncommon through the protected status given to it, disconnected from its surroundings purely for the purpose of human pleasure.
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