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A Distinctive and Universal Environment for All: Modu Art Theater

photographed by
Chin Hyosook
materials provided by
designgroup OZ

SPACE March 2024 (No. 676) 

 

In October 2023, the Modu Art Theater opened, a refurbishment project taking the first to third floors of the Salvation Army building located in Seodaemun-gu near Chungjeongno station. It was introduced with the hopeful message praising its status as the first performance venue in Korea for disabled artists. The name Modu Art Theater suggests a space that everyone can enjoy, regardless of their disability, and where all forms of art converge. How can a standard for performance spaces be established that accommodate all needs? The Architect Choi Taesan (co-principal, designgroup OZ) explores one clue to the ‘standard’ that a building environment for ‘modu (all)’ can pursue within a space that is special yet universal.

 

A flexible black-box theatre enabling the realization of various stage and seating configurations according to different performances. The entire space is designed without any steps, ensuring unrestricted movement for users.

 

​Youn Yaelim (Youn): Last October, the Modu Art Theater, remodeled within the Salvation Army building, opened its doors. The project was pushed forward through the Design Proposal Competition for Remodeling Disability Arts Performance Halls (2021). I’m curious about what prompted you to participate in this competition and what the main challenges were.

Choi Taesan (Choi): I started to take an interest in Universal Design after participating in the accessibility improvement project for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Paralympic Games (covered in SPACE No. 605). The project involved improving accessibility to entrances and restrooms of about 200 private facilities such as restaurants and accommoda...

 
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Choi Taesan
Choi Taesan has received B.S. from Ajou University and master of architecture from the Berlage Institute (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), with the topic of ‘mega-citification’. He has established theWorkshop design studio with his fellow partners in Seoul, Tokyo and Bangkok in 2015, exploring urban phenomena of East-Asian cities. Currently, as co-principal architect of designgroup OZ and studio tutor at Ajou University and Chungbuk National University, continues to explore relationship of how urban/architecture culture implies to our city dynamic and individuals.

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