Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, the first office of its kind, began its operation of the Public Building Center on Apr. 1. Approved by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport on Mar. 24, the institute is directly responsible for the construction of educational facilities, previously overseen by the Architecture & Urban Research Institute. The Public Building Center will take charge of tasks such as preliminary reviews of the construction project plans in the education office, the operation of Public Building Deliberation Committee, the implementation of design competitions, and the establishment of integration plans for local public buildings. Supporting the Education Space Design Team under the Education Facility Safety Department, which is in charge of related tasks, is Oh Jeongeun (professor, Kyung Hee University), Joo Daekhan (co-principal, Designgroup OZ Architects), and SHIN Hosoub (co-principal, SHIN architects), all of whom are participating in the preliminary review stage as a professional support group.
The most significant role of the Public Building Center is to conduct preliminary reviews of architectural plans. The Metropolitan Office of Education plans to include more educational spaces in their screening process by conducting a preliminary review of projects with a budget of over 50 million KRW, which is lower than the standard design fee of 100 million KRW specified by the Act on the Promotion of the Building Services Industry. In addition, the Public Building Deliberation Committee will prevent problems that do not accept the Centre’s recommendations or place orders without preliminary review. The Public Building Deliberation Committee is composed of 13 experts from architectural planning, architectural design and landscaping, and gathers opinion from these academic experts and internal committee members during the consultation process to ensure fair evaluation.
‘We will improve the quality of our educational facilities by securing expertise in school construction through our own educational facility management system’, stated the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education, when announcing plans such as the introduction of the Dream Classroom Architect initiative and the promotion of a ten-year master plan for the improvement of educational space.