Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Memorial Park
type: new construction of memorial park
location: Riverside Downtown Promenade, CA
The loop of a pioneering journey
Most of people, except Korean, may not be familiar with the name of Ahn Chang Ho (1878-1938), also known as Dosan, who was one of many Korean independence activists during Colonial Era. However, the small city in east of USA, Riverside commemorate him along with Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. by providing statues of these three great men and small memorial parks around them in downtown Riverside. This project is to redesign existing small memorial park around the statue of Ahn Chang Ho.
Ahn Chang Ho was a famous Korean independence activist, but he also was a farm worker, an entrepreneur, an educator, a diplomat, a leader and a global pioneer.
PQNK paid attention to his unprecedented world-wide sphere of independence actions. From 1902 to 1932 until arrested and transported to Korea, he traveled more than 10 countries and 60 cities for Korean independence actions.
The memorial begins with charting Ahn Chang Ho’s travel destination. Ahn Chang Ho’s travels to 10 different countries and 60 cities are organized on six rings that radiate outward from the center; these countries include Korea, Japan, USA, China, Mexico and Russia. His travels are organized chronologically moving counter-clockwise until his death in Korea in during his return 1938. Each line represents a specific time period and the extent of the line represents the country and the city to which he traveled.
The outer points of each ray are collected to create a faceted geometry. An organic loop was then imbued inside the polygonal shape to generate a shape that specifically tells the story of An Chang Ho’s travels.
Unlike the conventional concept of memorial park that provide memorial figures only as a monolithic object, the simple but creative concept was proposed to make memorial park to be responsive to urban context. The road-facing side of the loop is raised from the ground to create more spatial and formal qualities. As a result, the loop becomes more visible from the other block and drivers moving along University avenue while occupying minimum area on the ground, which allows the ground level to be almost free of structure. The ground level is widely open and has no directed circulation to accommodate diverse pedestrian activities.
There coexist two qualities to the loop. A visually enclosed form and an openness to outer world at the same time.