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APP - 1203
Ryerson University / kr Korea, Republic of
1 members
Dami Lee

Project type:

The Korean Demilitarized Zone has been a 4km buffer between North and South Korea since the Korean War in 1953. This restricted land has not been altered by human hands for the past 60 years and as a result, has created a natural paradise for a diverse range of animal and plant species. However, the barbed wire that runs between the Military Demarcation Line is impenetrable, not only for humans, but for animals and plants as well. This has created a fragmented landscape between the two mega ecosystems, limiting the possibility of further growth. The ecosystem has infinite environmental possibilities, and as a whole, could become the starting point for a natural wildlife corridor extending to Asia and rest of Europe.

Furthermore, the people of North and South Korea have been separated for more than 50 years. Despite the longing to be a united country, the idea of reunification is scary and implausible for the people in an economic and social sense.

The Kaesong Industrial Region was set up in North Korea in order to create a mutually beneficial trade relationship between the two countries. South Korean companies set up factories in Kaesong, employing the cheap labour available in North Korea. To date, the relationship has seen successful, but if trade is to continue growing, another commercial border is required to monitor the goods passing through.

The site is located on a highway that connects Seoul, South Korea’s capital city, and North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Region. This highway is also the only existing connection between the two countries today.

The complicated yet opportunistic siting calls for the layering of pivate, public, and non-human programs that mutually benefit from each other.

The proposal is a carefully monitored animal crossing that allow animals to move freely between North and South Korea. The crossing is structurally supported by the North and South Korean buildings on opposite sides of the border, which host a commercial border crossing station and a public viewing station for people to view the animal crossing and the nature in DMZ.

As the two buildings hold up and connect the broken wildlife corridors in four directions, it also provides a public attraction so close to the border, allowing people to gaze over to the other side of the border with longing and wonder.

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