A new London exhibition uncovers South Korea’s rising architectural stars

A new London exhibition that draws together the next gen
Chang Ucchin Museum by Chae Pereira Architects is part of a new London exhibition that draws together the next gen of South Korean design talent. Photography
(Image credit: Wansoon Park)

Exploring key examples from South Korea's crop of dynamic young architects, a new exhibition at the Cass Bank Gallery offers an inspiring tour through the Asian country's contemporary architecture scene. The show, 'Out Of The Ordinary', which spans award-winning works by young Korean architects, opens today and is curated by Hyungmin Pai, the Golden Lion Award winner at last year's Venice Architecture Biennale

South Korea, says Hyungmin Pai, is host to a number of emerging architects, making for a vibrant and growing design scene. The 2008 global financial crisis caused the country's creative forces to rethink their work, which within the architecture field led to the birth of many young, creative studios working on exciting, smaller and medium scale, independent architectural schemes. 

The show focuses on the portfolio of nine winners of the Korean Young Architects Award, one of the country's most coveted honours and an institution, which has supported its winners since 2008 with exhibitions and publications. The studios included are: Chae Pereira Architects, Joho Architecture, JYA-Rchitects, Wise Architecture, UTAA Company, D-Lim architects, Lokaldesign, IAEO Architekten and Oujae Architects. 

'When you start getting more corporate work,' explains Hyungmin Pai, 'you're not "young" any more', so fittingly, the projects on display range from inventive single family homes, to smaller scale urban interventions and cultural work, all concerned with key themes, such as sustainability, innovation and experimentation with materials. The engaging display was designed in collaboration with London-based Gatti Rhodes Architects

Running up to the end of the month, the exhibition is the first ever presentation of Korean architecture of this scale in London and offers a combination of photographs, drawings and architectural models that aim to tell the story of this 'new ecology of Korean architecture'. 

Korean Architecture, Chang Ucchin Museum

Chang Ucchin Museum by Chae Pereira Architects. 

(Image credit: Thierry Sauvage)

Nine Bridges of Korean architecture

CJ Nine Bridges 'The Forum' by D.LIM Architects

(Image credit: Joonhwan Yoon)

Elementary school of korean architecture with kids reading books

Happy School Project 'Gasa Elementary School' by IAEO Architekten.

(Image credit: Hyosook Chin)

Korean architecture endless triangles of Joho architecture

Endless Triangle by Joho Architecture. 

(Image credit: Sun Namgoong)

A house front yard of Korean Architecture and Joho architecture

Namehae Cheo-ma House by Joho Architecture. 

(Image credit: Sun Namgoong)

Inside architecture of house

Gangjin Children Center by JYA-Rchitects

(Image credit: Hyochel Hwang)

An underpass passage by Korean Architecture

Shinbanpo Underpass by Lokaldesign

(Image credit: Thierry Sauvage)

Korean architecture Management Office Annex

Management Office Annex by OUJAE Architects.

(Image credit: Jaeyum Kim)

OUJAE Architects created trip center

Slow Island Trip Centre by OUJAE Architects.

(Image credit: Jaeyun Kim)

ABC Building of Korean Architecture

ABC Building by WISE Architecture

(Image credit: Hyosook Chin)


The Cass Bank Gallery 
Central House
59-63 Whitechapel High Street
E1 7PF London 


Ellie Stathaki is the Architecture & Environment Director at Wallpaper*. She trained as an architect at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece and studied architectural history at the Bartlett in London. Now an established journalist, she has been a member of the Wallpaper* team since 2006, visiting buildings across the globe and interviewing leading architects such as Tadao Ando and Rem Koolhaas. Ellie has also taken part in judging panels, moderated events, curated shows and contributed in books, such as The Contemporary House (Thames & Hudson, 2018), Glenn Sestig Architecture Diary (2020) and House London (2022).