Korean War Memorial Park
Agenda Architecture and Planning Agency

From the Jury:

“I appreciated the scale at which this project is trying to operate and the degree to which it’s been resolved — from the overall engagement with the valley or area that it’s in, down to the unit of the paving even, as a holistic approach to the organization and the capture of this space.” — Jonathan Tate

Just outside of Daejeon, South Korea, lies a 24-acre tract of land containing multiple mass graves of civilians killed during and after the Korean War by military police and their allies. The memorial park proposed for this site reclaims the landscape by navigating the relationships between subgrade and surface, truth and history, permanence and transience. The design preserves the bordering forest and streambeds, contrasting them with built paths for civic, funerary, and recreational gatherings, and white peonies demarcate the sites of excavated remains. Memorial Hall, where visitors can learn about and pay tribute to the fallen civilians, is centrally located. The building is embedded into the earth, allowing the park above to mediate between recreational spaces to the east and the memorial garden to the west.

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