Envisioning an autonomous structure connecting beyond the capitalistic and political interests of North and South Korea, a new architectural monument, a contemporary dolmen, is proposed to overcome the 70-year-old political conflict. Influenced by the radical architectural experiments by Rem Koolhaas in the 1970’s, this thesis explores architectural strategies in ways these two heterogeneous societies can live together despite different ideologies.
Divided nations since 1953, a 4-kilometer strip of buffer zone called the DMZ or the Korean Demilitarized Zone, was created. Both nations were required to evacuate their part of the DMZ of all civilian settlements, except one for each nation. Sitting directly opposite of each other, these two farming villages, Kijong-dong in the North and Daeseong-dong in the South, were built for propaganda to extol each side's superior way of life.
The new bridge-like structure, almost 1-kilometer long, breaks across the border and provides flexible space for different uses and events in the eras leading to reunification. The villagers from both sides can come together in the collective space and eventually become amalgamated. On the day of reunification, everyone will gather to celebrate the historic moment with a festival. As time passes, the architectural artifact becomes a monument, reflecting on the history of the two divided Koreas.