SBAU Korea 2021


In 2021, a spin-off of Studio Hartzema’s celebrated research project Land of Hope, manifested in the form of an art installation, was invited to the Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 in South Korea, as a project representative of the Netherlands. The installation, presented in the Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul, Korea in the fall of 2021, highlighted the transformation of unbuilt space in the Randstad as a result of the energy transition, climate adaptation and urbanization.

The Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2021 was the first global architectural event entirely produced in the aftermath of Covid-19, which has questioned and redefined the foundations of our modern, technological civilization. Based on the theme of CROSSROADS: Building the Resilient City, the Biennale featured works focusing on cities – understood as the superposition and interactions of inhabitants, buildings, infrastructures, flows and regulations – which examined, researched and exhibited how they can be utilized as positive assets toward the development of a sustainable planet.

Within this context, Land of Hope was represented by a physical circular model with a diameter of 200cm and a height of 50cm, fabricated in the Netherlands. The form draws inspiration from Superstudio and showcases the Randstad’s unbuilt land as a solid piece, an extruded object. The result is a 1:50.000 model of Randstad’s unbuilt land, divided by a 5x5cm grid (of approx. 6mm line thickness), with exaggerated height. Additional material includes a written article for the Biennale’s publication and a 1-min video illustrating the proposal.

The form of the installation explores the intersection between global abstraction and local specificity. In this way, unbuilt land acts as a uniting field within the metropolis. The extruded form of the unbuilt land aims at encouraging the audience to imagine a scale beyond the local and the national and to perceive this land as a collective resource for the city’s sustainable future. Through the psychological rethinking of unbuilt land as a shared entity between collaborating cities and layers of society, the project shines light to the idea of scaled-up thinking and to areas of critical activity and metamorphosis.

Client: Seoul Biennale of Architecture & Urbanism Duration: April 2021-November 2021 Design team: Aikaterina Myserli (project leader), Henk Hartzema, Federica Francalancia, Sara Gholizadeh In cooperation with: Seoul Metropolitan Government, Creative Industries Fund NL Model maker: Model & Objekt