A+Winner Q+A: Eulho Suh on the Symbiotic Relationship Between Nature and Technology

Architizer Editors Architizer Editors

Suh Architects won the 2015 A+Awards, Jury Choice and Popular Choice, for the Sport and Recreation – Stadium/Arena Category with JEONBUK HYUNDAI MOTORS FC CLUBHOUSE. This stadium’s overall orientation and horizontal structure seeks to embrace the rolling the hills of the countryside as a therapeutic element for professional athletes.

Your name: Eulho Suh
Firm name: SUH Architects
Location: Seoul, Korea
Education: Harvard Graduate School of Design, MArch, and Rhode Island School of Design, BArch

© Kyungsub Shin

© Kyungsub Shin

When did you decide you wanted to be an architect?

My father is a Confucian scholar and abstract painter. We grew up in a 8,600-square-foot Hanoak, traditional Korean house, which took a court builder seven years to build by hand, without nails or electricity. I think I understood then that things take time. My interest in space-making probably grew from understanding that building is an art, and spaces sometimes take even a lifetime.

First architecture/design job:

My first independent project was a jazz club in the Gangnam area of Seoul in 1994.

Design hero and/or favorite building and why:

Thom Mayne is not only a dynamic designer, but has been a personal mentor and friend since I was his project manager in the nineties. I admire him not only for his uncompromising focus and love of making things in all forms of media, but for being a great human being that remembers the names of his interns and where he came from.

My other hero is my mom. She has encyclopedic knowledge and great instincts; she has an ability to meld the ancient with the modern with an ease like no one else I know.

© Kyungsub Shin

© Kyungsub Shin

What do you find exciting about architecture and design right now?

I think, as a whole, architects and designers are trying to define true sustainability. Technology used to seem to threaten or diminish nature’s influence; we now have realized the two are symbiotic. With the speed of technology’s advances, nature keeps us slow.

Tell us something that people might now know about your A+Award submission:

Considering the amount of time that professional athletes spend in our building, our focus was to make sure they were able to concentrate on their training and health. Efficiency in circulation, natural lighting, and ventilation were key considerations in planning Jeonbuk Hyundai Motor Football’s Clubhouse. The building could have been much taller, but the bucolic site demanded we have a horizontal approach where nature could flood in, in an almost therapeutic way.

Among your fellow A+Award winders, what is/are your favorite(s)?

Melgaço Sports School by Pedro Reis Arquitecto

© Kyungsub Shin

© Kyungsub Shin

Outside of architecture, where do you look for inspiration?

I am most inspired traveling with my wife and children either somewhere very urban or to a remote spot in nature. The chaotic and the pristine are always most compelling and ideal when surrounded by those I love most.

See all of the 2015 A+Award Winners here and all of the Winner Q+A’s here — and preorder the book from Phaidon here.

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