Bangju Church [방주교회], Jeju Island

When I Was The Most Beautiful (2020)

Three years after her husband Seo Jin (Ha Seok-jin) went missing, Oh Ye-ji (Im Soo-hyang) goes back to their honeymoon destination, Jeju Island, in episodes 6-7 of When I Was The Most Beautiful/When I Was The Prettiest (내가 가장 예뻤을때) (MBC, 2020) and retraces all the places they have been to together; including this chapel. This is where Seo Hwan (Ji Soo) finds her when flying over from the States worried about his sister-in-law.

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Established in 2009, Bangju Church [방주교회], sometimes also called ‘Church of Sky’, is a Christian chapel located in the village of Sangcheon [Sangcheon-ri/상천리] in Seogwipo’s Andeok Township [Andeok-myeon/안덕면] on Jeju Island [Jeju-do/제주도].

The church’s name ‘bangju/방주’ translates to ‘Noah’s ark’ and this church’s shape resembles a floating ark on water. Designed by renowned architect Jun Itami (이타미 준/伊丹潤; 1937–2011), its architectural theme, however, was a ‘sky architecture’, “one that would reflect and not work against the spectacular and often changing skies of the locale”, as Fiona Macdonald cites Jun Itami’s architecture company Itami Jun Architects.

Jun Itami realized most of his projects in South Korea and the majority in later years on Jeju Island, which he considered as his ‘second hometown’. Born in Tokyo but with South Korean origins, Jun Itami majored in architecture at the Musashi Institute of Technology and raised to world fame with his solo exhibition at the Guimet (Museum national des Arts asiatiques) in Paris, France, in 2003. Among the prizes he’s won, he received the Award of The Korea Institute of Architect (2001), the Légion d’honneur, Grade de chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des Lettres en France (2005) and the Kim Swoo-geun Prize (2006).

113 Sallongnam-ro762beon-gil, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo, Jeju-do, South Korea
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 산록남로762번길 113
(안덕면 상천리 427)
Geolocation: 33.305066, 126.387459

— submitted by Marion KDL

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