38. The French Embassy in Seoul
The French Embassy building is said to be the acme of contemporary architecture in Korea. The architect Kim Jung-eup, who designed the building aged 38, said, “With this work, I took my first steps as an architect.” In fact, Kim Jung-eup gained the contract by winning the open competition for the design of the embassy building organized by French Ambassador to Seoul Roger Chambard.
Kim Jung-eup spent most of his time at the construction site. The building was completed in 1962 after three years of work. The most noticeable thing about the building is the roof separated from the body of the building. The gentle upward curve of the roof looks like the eaves of a traditional Korean house. The bulky columns supporting the roof exude a grandiose air.
The construction of the French Embassy building marked a turning point in the contemporary architecture of Korea.