In the architectural sense, a ‘folly’ means an architecture that plays a decorative role after losing its original functions. However, Gwangju Folly refers to architectures that contribute to urban regeneration, playing both decorative and functional roles in public spaces.
‘Folly’ used to mean decorative, functionless architectures in the European mansion gardens, mostly in the U.K and France. However, as a Swedish architect Bernard Tschumi working in France installed 35 architectural structures in La Villette park in France, the word ‘folly’ became well-known to the world with a contemporary meaning. The park offers things to research, observe and see to the general public and experts through multiple follies, encouraging interactions between visitors and the park, and it is the mission of Gwangju Folly.
Rather than operating as individual urban architectures, Gwangju Folly will exercise its influence through unified patterns. The new follies to be located in the city are designed to achieve urban regeneration by providing strong cultures to the old downtown of Gwangju City which is experiencing a ‘hollowing out phenomenon’ after 40 years of fast growth.