TREES & TRACES : An (in)visible pavilion
In the center of Seoul, an inflatable structure has emerged on the ground of Songhyeon Green Plaza, home to seven pavilions for the 4th Seoul Urban Architecture Biennale in 2023. A thin membrane, aptly named the ‘Invisible Pavilion’, captures the surrounding landscape while revealing an interior. This seemingly (in)visible boundary serves as a timeless connection, shedding new light on the complex layers of the surroundings.
The German artist duo, Plastic Fantastique, drew inspiration from a complex history of Songhyeon-dong, aiming to uncover traces of the past still buried beneath the ground. The excavation journey commenced in April 2023, with the intent of discovering hidden artifacts. Various relics from different eras were unearthed and showcased along the rounded earthen walls.
Visitors to the pavilion are encouraged to participate in the artifact excavation process during the biennale. Found objects are affixed to the interior wall, recounting the history of Songhyeon-dong, and the accumulating imprints become a collective sculpture sparking visitors’ curiosity. Their individual stories add depth to the project.
The soundscape played in the pavilion also recreates the history of Songhyeon-dong. It is an acoustic representation of the vanished pine forest, which was once thought to purify the energy flowing into the palace long ago. Today’s sounds fill the place left by the old forest. The juxtaposition of auditory memory, visual perception, and tactile sensation weaves a curious narrative and draws the viewer into a place of immediate encounter. This multi-sensorial experience explores the complex layers of the urban environment that surrounds us, blurring the lines between past and present, reality and imagination.
Project: TREES & TRACES / Location: Seoul, Korea / Architect: Plastique Fantastique / Project team: Pihla Pellinen, Sebastian Podesta, Lucas Sere Peltzer, Erick Montefort / Site area: 37,117m² (public park) / Bldg. area: 180m² / Gross floor area: 113m² / Design: Plastique Fantastique (Marco Canevacci & Yena Young) / Pneumatic structure construction: Plastique Fantastique (Team: Pihla Pellinen, Sebastian Podesta, Lucas Sere Peltzer) / Completion: 2023 / Photograph: ©Plastique Fantastique