1st Floor, Smaller Architects,
4, Changsin 10-gil,
Seoul, Republic of Korea
In Mulmangol village, a small town sitting on the foothills of Hwangnyoengsan Mountain in Busan, there is an underground bunker facility that has been left unattended for the past several decades. It is a one-of-a-kind urban site in Korea. As part of its urban renewal project, Busan Metropolitan City recently decided to provide administrative support for a speedy regeneration project of the underground bunker. Accordingly, Kyungdong Construction Co., Ltd., which owns 13 million square meters of land in that area including the 4,000 square meter underground bunker, decided to develop the underground facility in conjunction with the ground landscape. The underground bunker facility, part of which existed as a cave since the Japanese colonial era, was constructed as a military operation facility in 1968. It had been left unattended until lately and was finally registered as a legitimate structure for neighborhood living and storage purposes in March this year.
With its unique spatial structure and annual average temperature of 12.9℃, this bunker provides an interesting sense of place to its visitors. In addition to a residential zone formed around the bunker, Hwangnyoengsan Mountain spread widely across the area surrounding the bunker. The surrounding tourism resources and natural environments such as the Beacon Tower and the Observatory on top of Hwangnyoengsan Mountain, in particular, are important points to consider for the bunker development. As for the residential zone near the bunker, there is the Mulmangol village, a high-density low-income residential area, and a redevelopment area where a high-rise apartment complex is currently under construction. In addition, the entire site including the bunker is located in a downtown area very close to the Busan City Hall and has easy access to both the subway and bus stations. These features of surrounding environment, through the development of the whole area and especially the renewal of the bunker, should naturally contribute to the improvement of surrounding residential area and also provide the appeal of a downtown tourist destination.