Border Crossing in the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)

The Korean Demilitarized Zone has been a 4km buffer between North and South Korea since the Korean War in 1953. This restricted land has not been altered by human hands for the past 60 years and as a result, has created a natural paradise for a diverse range of animal and plant species. However, the barbed wire that runs between the Military Demarcation Line is impenetrable, not only for humans but for animals and plants as well. This has created a fragmented landscape between the two mega ecosystems, limiting the possibility of further growth.

When connected, the ecosystem has immense environmental possibilities and, as a whole, could become the starting point for a natural wildlife corridor extending to Asia and rest of Europe. The project proposal is a carefully monitored animal crossing that allows animals to move freely between the border.

The crossing is structurally supported by the public observation towers on either side of the border, and its opportunistic siting near the Kaesong Industrial Region calls for the layering of programs - a public viewing station; a commercial border crossing, and an animal crossing. As the two buildings hold up and connect the broken wildlife corridors in four directions, it also provides a public attraction so close to the border, allowing people to gaze over to the other side of the border with longing and wonder.

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