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A Rare Beauty

A unique project to preserve a village in face of rapid modernisation.

Galnam is a small village in the East Coast of South Korea in the region of Samcheok. Probably it is a community not very different from others villages of this so far remote and beautiful province. But what makes special and unique to Galnam is the combined effort of their neighbors, the public authorities and a team of architects to find a balance between preservation and tourism.

Unfortunately, in the rapid modernization that has taken place in South Korea in the last 50 years we have witnessed so many examples in which fast profit, lack of conservationist plan or company interests have ruined idyllic places in favour of process such as touristification and gentrification.

However, facing the current modern society described by the South Korean philosopher Byung Chul Han as a  ́burnout society ́, Galnam presents a unique contrast. A small community where concepts of family, belonging, respect for the environment, neighborhood, ancestors and tradition as still strong and present.