The model home gallery is a phenomenon in South Korea where the majority of housing is developed by one of the five big corporate families. Apartment buildings are not designed as individual buildings but as multiples; thus a new housing project may be conceived as 20 or 30 towers forming an entire neighborhood. If mass housing has had pejorative connotations in the United States, in Korea the study, design, and sales of housing have developed into a discipline serving an ascendant middle class with amenities and technologies that are significantly sophisticated. For that reason, each corporation invests in what is called a “model home gallery,” a building that not only contains sales offices with model homes, but also a variety of public amenities that are purposed for the use of the community in which the gallery is placed. These public programs include art galleries, restaurants, cafés, auditoria, and other functions that can become part of the public realm. So numerous are these model home galleries that they have also created an iconic spectacle within the urban landscape, each attempting to occupy a status more commonly held by public institutions such as museums or libraries.
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Additional Credits: NADAAA Inc.
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