Session 4: Re-creating Spaces — Streets, Rooftop, Local...

Zoosun Yoon


Zoosun Yoon is a researcher of urban regeneration at AURI (Architecture & Urban Research Institute), a government-funded research institute in South Korea. Yoon’s research focuses on the revitalization of shrinking cities with young peoples. It integrates maker movements, everyday culture, and location-based startups.

Previously, Yoon worked at the Ansan Community Planning Center (NPO) as a community planner, and participatory planning researcher at KRIHS (Korea Research Institute for Human Settlements), a National Think Tank.

Yoon holds a PhD in Urban Design from the University of Tokyo, and a Master of Architecture from Seoul National University. 

Project Description

Once the heart of cultural events in Gunsanfrom elementary school recitals to operasGunsan Community Culture Hall has been empty since 2013 when a larger Arts Center opened just 2km away. The Hall was designed by one of Korea’s most famous modern architects, Kim Joong-up and has a vast, beautiful rooftop space that has never been activated before.

Project Sleeping Giant: Since June 2020, Architecture & Urban Research Institute (AURI) has been exploring ways to bring the building back to life in far more creative ways than its original purpose. 

We’re testing out ‘Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper’ ways of using the space in more active ways than sitting as an audience looking at a stage. 

The building was planned in 1986. It was designed as an authoritative large-scale building because it was an era of military dictatorship. We’re going to refurbish it into a bottom-up culture. The newly opened building supports active citizens, not passive citizens, and aims to pursue a everyday culture, not a high culture. Citizens become the main characters and makers of the stage, not the audience. Instead of watching a play set by the administration, they make their own hands what they want to see and want to do in person.

Hence, the first test was to build a pop-up skatepark on the roof through a Do-It-Together 5-day festival: Grand DIT Festa. 

5 professional builder teams, 28 participants, 1 skatepark. The new space has started to bring the community together (in Covid-19 safe ways) from skaters, students, residents, and urbanists.

– This building is city-owned but we’re looking for private area managers to operate the building once it’s officially reopened. So, we want to use tactical urbanism to open residents’, city’s, and potential managers’ eyes to innovative uses.

– The roof has never been used before!! The side panels are 7m wide so there is no danger of falling off or dropping things.

– There is an American Air Base in the city that actually brought skateboarding culture to Gunsan so it was great that we had participants from the base.

Web Resources (Grand DIT Festa) 

Grand DIT Festa Images