Located in Seoul, Korea, the Canadian Diplomatic Complex was designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects is a symbol of Canada’s ongoing relationship with Korea and an important expression of the value Canada places on that relationship. The project offered an opportunity to redefine a dialogue between Canadian sensibilities and the Korean urban landscape, expressing respect for the historical context and conveying ideas about the openness of Canadian society. Security requirements are met without sacrificing the welcoming atmosphere of the embassy.
The 500-year old Hakjasu tree at the entrance of the building now forms the focal point of the embassy’s entrance plaza. Horizontal wood panels wrap the base of the building, creating a feeling of serenity. These slats, made of Canadian western-red cedar, reference Korean wooden screens as well as the undulating walls of the Deoksoo Palace in the historic district nearby. As one enters the embassy the screen provides a balance between visibility and privacy. Since the building opened, the plaza has become a neighbourhood gathering place. The design successfully represents Canada while expressing an appreciation of the people of Korea and their culture.