Week 6 | Wellness Retreat in Inner Kumgangby Koh_Jie_Ying Tourism New Deal by Chong Yin Yi, Christy (1003533) and Koh Jie Ying (1003682) We are designing a wellness retreat for North and South Koreans such that we can create a joint-programme that promotes dialogue between the two Koreas. Zooming into the Mount Kumgang Tourist Region, we discovered that there are three separate regions. Segregated into Sea, Outer and Inner Kumgang, each of these regions give a different offering in environment. Sea Kumgang presents itself as a landing point for tourists, yet also an isolated space. Outer Kumgang offers tourism facilities such as hotels. They were designed by South Koreans, built by South Koreans, and for South Koreans. This staged experience prevents any real interaction with the locals in Kumgang. Inner Kumgang remains relatively untouched by the development bordering it. In a sense, the culture and environment is still very well preserved to the locals; offering undiscovered gems within the natural elements of the region. Our project looks at the possibility of tapping on the Inner Kumgang region. We foresee Inner Kumgang to be the frontier of restarting potential future interaction, as a site for reconciliation through wellness tourism. Zooming into Inner Kumgang, we see the dense forest that remains relatively untouched. By peeling away the layer of the forest, one discovers a network of temples and hermitages. We analysed the organisational principles of these buildings along a central river and its relation to the topography before analysing the spatial influence these buildings have on the nearby river and ecology. This composite artefact drawing aims to capture the essence of Inner Kumgang – the integration of architecture with the landscape through Pungsu-jiri. The Pungsu-jiri can be defined as the Korean theoretical system that evaluates various features of land, mountain at the back and waterbody in front and then connects them to human fortune, peace, advancement and decline. It emphasizes the spiritual and material energies of mountains and their ranges. The placement of building temples and stone pagodas on an auspicious site known as hyeol could amplify this positive fortune energies or reduce the negative energies.and also the identifying the difference in geography of Inner Kumgang from outer Kumgang represented through the specific type of foliage and geology. Inner Kumgang can be differentiated with the more subtle and feminine beauty as compared to rougher macro features of outer Kumgang. A further study of Podok Hermitage was conducted. It poses as an interesting architecture as it is wedged between large rocks and foliage. Overlooking the river, the drawing shows the reconstruction of Podok hermitage with a framed view that encapsulates all elements of the Pungsu-jiri, denoting the perfect components for a wellness retreat through the integration of the exterior and interior. We then questioned what are the spatial qualities a wellness center could accommodate. Exploring different wellness retreats in Korea, we established that there is a spectrum of spatial qualities to be found in these places. Ranging from the Red Clay Sauna, to the Herb Garden, to the Forest Seated Meditation and finally to the forest trails, we go from an intimate to vast space. We categorised this into 4 spatial qualities, namely, enclosure, established outdoor area, platform and trail. Looking at the National Center for Forest Therapy (NCFT) specifically, we identified these spatial qualities. Our analysis reveals that the organisational principles follow closely to that of the Buddhist temples and hermitages. Also looking at the proximity of the facilities to the accommodation. Identifying that the long term accommodation on the left is a distance away from the facilities whereas the short term accommodation are located nearer to the activities. NCFT has a spatial layout where they cluster facilities of the same spatial qualities together, leading to a deprived holistic experience when exploring only a certain region. Hence, in our intervention, we want to introduce a greater diversity of spatial qualities within different regions, such that when read in a linear experience, a user gets to be immersed in different types of spaces for various purposes of improving their wellness. Coming back to Inner Kumgang, we investigate the current spatial qualities within it. Currently, there are only forest trails which is utilised on the Inner Mount Kumgang Hiking Route. Even Though it is called Inner Mount Kumgang Hiking Route, we can see that the majority of the path trekked is still within Outer Kumgang. Hence, we want to create an experience that is wholly within Inner Kumgang itself, setting the atmosphere for tourists to truly immerse in Inner Kumgang over their stay at the wellness retreat. Hence, we began an initial masterplan for our site at Inner Kumgang. First, we see the need of keeping the cultural buildings identified there, which primarily are located along the river. We then extended the current road existing at the south of this drawing, to form a loop at higher ground. We want to implement a valley for our wellness retreat and this road borders the edges of the river to enclose the facilities that can be located within the valley. Slightly offset off the road, we aligned multiple accommodations that serve the tourists. This ring of accommodations will allow for the 1000 inhabitants to reside on our site without feeling the large density of people as these accommodations are well spaced out along this ring. We then planted the different spatial qualities of facilities that our wellness retreat can offer, within this valley, carefully following the organisational principles learnt from the cultural buildings, by placing them along the river. The running of this retreat runs as a joint-programme, with South Koreans coming in with the expertise in running wellness retreats, and North Koreans serving as guides who offer contextual and cultural knowledge of North Korea. Moreover, we took into account the services that would help this retreat to function, by placing necessary stations along the road. Connecting all of these plans together will be the circulation path, with main paths including the one along the road and the river. We conducted typology analysis of the local cultural buildings as well, namely the Buddhist temples and hermitages. For the Buddhist temple, we looked at one of the most significant temples within Inner Kumgang – Pyohunsa Temple. One of the few temples that survived the Korean War, Pyohunsa has fewer halls than before. Yet, when analysing one of the typical elements of a Buddhist Temple, Pyohunsa still has a courtyard that is partially enclosed today, due to the presence of the gardens. However, by noting the locations of the destroyed buildings, we see that the courtyard was initially fully enclosed by surrounding buildings. This is a confirmation of the religious spatiality that a Buddhist Temple has because of the enclosed courtyard indicating that there is a separation from secular values. Analysing the interior, we see that each hall usually offers a single-use space, hence explaining the multitude of halls around the temple. Within the main hall, there are two ways that the statue of Buddha could face – the front entrance of the temple, or its side. This offers different levels of privacy as a Buddhist kneels to pray to the statue; whether his back or side faces the entrance where other people might look from. This analysis of the Buddhist Temples help us in understanding these two qualities of this typology. We would like to apply these qualities across the accommodations offered in our wellness retreat. We are planning to do so firstly with the implementation of a partially enclosed courtyard. Through the layout of the buildings, we can create less secluded central courtyard spaces for the residents, pushing for intermingling opportunities between North and South Korean tourists within the retreat. Moreover, the interior qualities defined can lead us to planning the individual rooms within each building such that there are rooms with greater privacy, and others with a better view of the courtyard. Next we went on to analyse the hermitage. We identify Dosoram hermitage as the case study for hermitage. The section and plan of the Dosoram hermitage clearly shows that the space is just sufficient for an individual with no added extra interior additions, solely as an individual space away from the buzz. We would like to apply these qualities to our accommodation. In specific, long term stay accommodations for tourists who are here to recover and rehab from their illness, away from the city, and even away from the wellness activities, in a quiet and natural setting. This speculative collage shows the potential of our wellness retreat embedded in nature. Tags:tourismweek 6 Leave a Reply Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.