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dal7.jpg (10603 bytes)        Moon Village

Dal-dongne,   the squatter area under redevelopment process /
Bongcheon 3 -dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul


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Alleyway that is as narrow as the width of 45cm.


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Diverse spaces, such as courtyard, front yard, and cul-de-sac, are found at Dal-dongne. 












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The Moon Village, Dal-dongne in Korean, is the squatter area peculiar to Korean mega cities, like Seoul and Busan. Typically, it covers the mountain area near to CBD. It came to be existence as a socio-spatial result of the rapid urbanization and industrialization in Korea which has been driven by the central government since 1960s. From 1980s, the Moon Villages have rapidly been redeveloped into high rise apartment houses which meet the needs of all parties concerned;  the owners of land, the developer, and the government. They think the larger clean apartment houses which mean much profit in a soaring real estate market, the development profit from the new high density, and the image of the clean advanced modern city, respectively.

The Moon Villages may have a quite different meaning for the architects and sociologists who see more than the status quo. Elsewhere in mega cities like Seoul, can they find the spatial logic based on the instinct of settlement and the mechanism of naturally constructed community?


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The lessons from the ways the Dal-dongne houses are built and integrated into a settlement are not found in any of architectural design books. They are only printed on the real sites. In the Dal-dongne, 'our' space connects you and me, which stands in stark contrast to our current practices in housing sites. However, the Dal-dongney is doomed to be erased within a year or two, which would mean a loss of a text of urban architecture and sociology.  

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The Moon Village is now being evacuated.

In a few years, it will be a page of the urban history without any trace.