photo: David Kennard Photography


Gyeongbokgung Palace
Seoul, Korea

The three linked buildings at the far end of the palace grounds, numbered #26-28 on the palace map, formed a library complex with Mt. Bugaksan as an impressive backdrop. Jibokjae is the name of the central building; the two-story octagonal pavilion is Parujeong, and Hyeopgildang is the building on the right. Jibokjae was originally located in Changdeokgung Palace, but King Gojong moved it to Gyeongbokgung in 1891.

The end walls of Jibokjae are made of brick (visible in the middle of the photo), a Chinese fashion of the time, and the building shows Chinese influence in other ways too (interior screens, roof, columns). The building's Chinoiserie was perhaps a homage, like the Classical forms of the New York Public Library.