Canada Opens New Embassy in Jeong-dong
New Canadian Amb. Ted Lipman in Charge of 2 Koreas
Project MilestonesNovember 29, 1994
The Government of Canada purchases a property located at 16-1 Jeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul. July 18, 2002
The Government of Canada submits a building permit application for the embassy project. 2003
Groundbreaking occurs. 2003 - 2007
Construction of the embassy is undertaken. November 9, 2007
Canada's new chancery opens its doors.
Canada's plan to protect an ancient Korean treasure
Of great pride to the Canadian Embassy is the 520-year-old pagoda tree located next to the front entrance (City Tree seo#2-3). This deciduous broadleaf arbour is 17 metres tall and has a diameter of 5.16 metres. Developing a protection plan for the 520-year-old tree was critical to the success of the chancery project. The plan, developed with the assistance of two Korean experts, covered all stages of implementation. This included the building massing, which was designed around the root ball; an excavation during the tree's dormant period; electronic monitoring; and enhancements to the physical environment of the tree. Damaged bark was treated through a number of surgical operations, supports were put in place to prevent the bending and breaking of branches, and the dry well was enlarged and improved. Today, new leaves are sprouting on the tree, and we are pleased that experts have deemed the tree to be in good health. We hope that this tree will continue to grow as the relationship between Canada and Korea continues to flourish.
An aesthetic design of the chancery The design of the Canadian embassy expresses a reverence for nature that Koreans and Canadians share. The building, composed of two blocks tied together by a base, is framed by an historic 520-year-old tree. The massing and skin of the building are inspired by impressionist images of the Canadian landscape. The west block is the mountain, a majestic and simple form in the tradition of Lawren S. Harris, and presents a strong solid background for the tree plaza. The east block with its vertical elements symbolizes a forest of birch bark trunks and creates a natural rhythm against the sky, an image inspired by Canadian impressionist Tom Thomson. The design, building materials, patterns and massing all embody a connection between the building's Korean context and the rugged Canadian landscape. The main entrance area to the embassy has become a focal gathering place, with its broad, open walkway, sparkling water fountain and curving black granite benches. The plaza was designed around the ancient tree, a local Korean treasure to which visitors are drawn to marvel at its beauty. The plaza offers a warm embrace in the spirit of the strong partnership between Korea and Canada. The new Embassy was designed by the Toronto architectural firm Zeidler Partnership. Zeidler has been recognized by its peers with over 100 national and international awards. These accolades include five Governor General's Medals for Architecture, four Massey Medals for Outstanding Canadian Architecture, the American Society of Interior Designers International Award and the Progressive Architecture Design Award. Zeidler's extensive portfolio includes Canada Place in Vancouver, Columbus Center of Marine Research and Exploration in Baltimore, and the Atrium of the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.
Introduction to the chancery facilities
The welcoming atmosphere of the embassy building is reflective of the warm and positive relationship that exists between Canada and Korea. The 9,150 m2 Canadian Diplomatic Complex, which launched its operations in July 2007, includes staff quarters, offices and reception facilities. Located in Jeong-dong, the embassy is close to the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, other government offices, and a number of historic sites. The 520-year-old tree, a treasure located five metres from the property line, is the focal point of the embassy design.
Stones from the battlefield in Gapyeong In early August 1952, the First Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment was deployed to defend Hill 355, near Gapyeong. Hill 355, or Kowang San, was also known by the troops as "Little Gibraltar" due to its massive size and distinct shape. Over the course of three months fighting on Hill 355, the Canadians would suffer over 200 casualties, including 41 valiant soldiers killed in action. Many of these heroes are now interred in the UN Cemetery in Busan alongside compatriots who gave their lives in battles elsewhere on the Korean peninsula. The new chancery honours the Canadian soldiers who fought in the Korean War with a memorial that allows Embassy visitors an opportunity to take a quiet moment to reflect upon the sacrifices made by Canadians in Korea over half a century ago. The rock that makes up the centerpiece of this memorial was quarried from the battlefield of Hill 355.For further information, media representatives may contact: Media Relations Office
Canadian Embassy in Korea
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