Bridging the Gap: Center for Environmental Research and Sustainability in the DMZ, Korea

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The DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) is a designation for a military demarcation line in accordance with 'the Korean Armistice Agreement' signed on July 27, 1953. Since then, civilian access over the DMZ is highly limited. Because of the limitation, the DMZ is naturally restored its ecosystem. In 1992 summit conference, North and South Korea reached an agreement to reconnect two railroad lines which had been destroyed by war. This is a given opportunity for both Koreas to examine the possibility of reunification. At the same time, it will be the challenge for the environment around the area where the railroads will pass.

This thesis explores the possible use of land where the railroad passes. Sustainability is considered as a main idea to develop the area surrounded as well as the building itself. Based on the program test, the suitable development plan for the surrounding area is proposed. The idea of sustainable development is applied in conjunction with the symbolic meaning of the space.

This thesis also explores the role of architecture in which the reconciliation between North and South Korea as well as men and nature will take place. The Center for Environmental Research and Sustainability offers the space where scientists from different countries including North and South Korea can interact with each other for sharing ideas and developing new technologies. Public are invited to experience a life interrelated to nature.