|To city dwellers, streets and
motorways constitute a wholly other order of space to the usual architectural
spaces that are the focus of their activities. Despite the not inconsiderable
time spent on the road, these spaces are not centred on humans, but are
dominated by traffic typically reaching speeds of 60-100 km/h. Mere "speed
passages" or "time tracks" without actual substance, let
alone human scale, they are "voids" calibrated to purely ballistic
numerics. Traffic tunnels especially, in a conspicuous amplification of
such 100% artificial spatial conceits, take the form of "space-time
tubes" volumetrically moulded around the high-speed traffic flow.
The Namsan Tunnel No. 3 Project is an attempt to retrieve just such a
faceless abstract "void" and draw it more towards a humanised
"environment" with all the evocative variegations of scenery
we see in the outside world. To the spatial designer, the "physics
experiment" setting of the tunnel is an unknown realm of cold friction
where bare speed strafes past human perception.
|| What is needed, then, is a design interface
between such speeds and perceptual thresholds: to effect a temporary delay
in this ultra-accelerated techological overkill wherein to introduce/discover
some algorithm or schema of compression-decompression that might allow
for an interactive play of human perceptions and feelings; to create a
time-axis dynamic at speeds of 60-100km/h to "score" the otherwise
monotonous grey of the tunnel more "in tune" with the continuously
unfolding landscape outside. Here, just as in music, first arises rhythm,
then melody and harmonies. A visual symphony, from pianissimo to adagio,
moderato, allegro, vivace, crescendo, forte, creating a narrative overture
Bearing in mind the north-south axis of the 1200m long Namsam Tunnel No.
3 in central Seoul, we gave visual interpretation to the popular Korean
folksong "Kyongbok-Taryon". At 60km/h, a drive through the Sonic
Space clocks in a just under 60 seconds, a brief time-travel experience
to bring a refreshing moment of relief to the tired city dweller.