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BORDERS Korean DMZ Competition

A subterranean bathhouse serving both sides of the Korean border within the De-Militarized Zone.

Irredenta: (n) a territory historically or ethnically related to one political unit but under the political control of another

Anisotropic: (adj) exhibiting properties with different values when measured in different directions (1)

Borders are typically understood as nonphysical vertical extrusions demarcating the political division of an otherwise continuous ground. When a border becomes a horizontal surface, the notion of finite ends is called into question. The Korean Demilitarized Zone is a transient irredenta, a space of exception both part of and abstract from both sides, the territorial corollary to a political boundary in perpetual flux.

Rosalind Krauss has described horizontality as resistance to vertical form (2), undermining notions of finite objects and static edges. ‘Anisotropic Irredenta’ exploits the inherent anti-formalism of a subterranean building, as a shifting anisotropic interior favoring horizontality in subversion of the vertical.

1. “anisotropic” and “irredenta” as defined by, 2017. 
2. Rosalind Krauss, “Horizontality”, in Formless: a user’s guide, Yve-Alain Bois, Rosalind Krauss, New York: Zone Books, 1997, pp. 93-103.