Around Christmas in 2013, we donated a design to ‘Serious Request’, which is a program held by the Korea National Red Cross. This program is a new-fashioned charity event which is immensely unique and interactive. Originally, ‘Serious Request(SR)’ is a 10-year-old event hosted by Hollad Red Cross and 3FM radio station. To help second-class citizen like children, elderly, multi-cultural family, and immigrants, 3 DJs run a fund-raising activity for 6 days in a transparant glass box called ‘Glass House’, without eating food except beverages. The reason why they proceed without eating or sleeping, is to share pain of the people in need, as well as to appeal to pedestrians and subconscious contributors for participation. SR spreaded to various countries like Belgium, Switzerland, Sweden, and Kenya. In Asia, Korea National Red Cross held the event at the very first in 2012.
‘Glass House’ in 2013 was installed in the Myeong-dong, one of the central districts of Seoul, Korea, especially in the most complicated intersection between Myeong-dong theater and Woori Bank. The length of the program was for 72 hours, from December 21st to Christmas eve. Since there are many people in Myeong-dong at Christmas and New Year, the time for installation and removal should have been as short as possible. Besides, it was almost ‘Mission Impossible’ to put DJ seats, stand, and a studio for mini concerts in a 6-meter-cube. The cube had to be in a simple structure and design for fast installation, and we had an idea from a Red Cross 10-centimiter-cube fund-raising coin bank, which resembles a Lego block. Finally, the Glass Box was built in the center of Myeong-dong like a gift box, with a combination of red and green blocks representing Christmas, glass walls to look inside, and a huge screen to transmit the contents of broadcasting.
Because it was around Christmas, there were numerous people in Myeong-dong. There was only 36 hours for installation, and we had to built it all-night in a extremely cold weather falling to 10 degrees below zero. Fortunately, we could finish as scheduled for 3 DJs and guests-politicians, bands, volunteers, and pedestrians- to have a talk, turn on songs, and to sing along with bands. Most of the other countries also run off the SR around Christmas. Though the weather is terrible in Holland, many people outside of the Glass Box stay together all night for 6 days. Maybe that stands by the DJs not to eat or sleep for the period.
People kept donating, and at the last of the event, the crowd roared and 3 DJs came out of the Glass Box. And the event finishes to announce the total amount of the contributing money. In 2013, SR in Holland raised about 17.8 billion won while SR in Korea raised 1.5 billion won, which was tripled from last year. As well as small pieces gathering to make a block of great meaning, there were warm hearts gathered caring about neighbors, to make a great scene of a beautiful Christmas.
Written by Hyoungnam Lim, Eunjoo Roh in studio_GAONLocation: Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Architect: studio_GAON | Hyoungnam Lim, Eunjoo Roh
Project Team: Sangwoo Lee, Minjung Choi, Hanmoe Lee, Sungpil Lee, Seongwon Son, Heera Kang, Joowon Moon
Photographs: Hyosook Chin
Translation: Joowon Moon
Building Area: 36㎡
Gross Floor Area: 53.4㎡
Building Scope: 2F
Structure: steel frame
Construction: Changrog Hwang, Inil Hwang (Starsis)
Design Period: 2013.11.1 – 2013.12.20
Construction Period : 2013.12.20 – 2013.12.21 (36hours)