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Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism takes international applications for next year

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has started taking international applications for the next year’s Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (SBAU), aiming to select around 100 projects around the world.

The biennale, which will be held from September to November 2021, will be held under the theme of “Crossroads, Building the Resilient City,” encompassing five co-related topics of urbanism, architecture, design, landscape and city to examine how the five factors can become more sustainable, resilient and comfortable assets for humankind.

The biennale will also reflect on the aftermath of COVID-19 pandemic from an architectural perspective.

The selected projects will be on display at the two main exhibitions -- The Thematic Exhibition and The Cities Exhibition -- at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Jung-gu, central Seoul, an iconic establishment designed by Zaha Hadid. The projects will be provided financial support, including research expenditures and participation fee.

The applications, open to not only professional architects but also students, researchers and critics, will go through until July 31. Applicants are required to preregister from May 29 to June 30 and submit a project proposal from July 1-31. The announcement of selected projects will be made in October.

The biennale next year will be directed by the French architect Dominique Perrault, who was appointed as the 2021 SBAU general director. As a renowned architect, Perrault’s representative architectural designs include the Velodrome and Olympic Swimming Pool in Berlin, Fukuoka Tower in Japan, DC Tower I in Vienna and the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Perrault is widely recognized in Korea for designing the campus building of Ewha Womans University called ECC (Ewha Campus Complex) in western Seoul. He also won the international competition to design the Gangnam Intermodal Transit Center in Seoul, which aims to be completed in 2023.

Launched in 2017, the biennale is the third edition to be held in Seoul. The 2019 SBAU, titled “Collective City,” was participated by more than 180 institutions from 80 cities including Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Ulaanbaatar and Mongolia. 

A poster of the international application for the 2021 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (SBAU)
A poster of the international application for the 2021 Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism (SBAU)
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