In Hyeon’s first year at college, at Hanyang University in Seoul, South Korea, he had an opportunity to write an essay on the traditional rural house he grew up in. His insightful analysis was well received, and he was half way hooked on architecture. His first design studio, in which he created his own plans for a house, sealed the deal. He majored in Architecture Engineering and earned two Masters of Architecture degrees, the second at Harvard. In between, he worked for Samoo Architects on high-rise residential buildings, libraries, and other projects. His urban design study at Harvard – “Revising the Dump” for a city in Holland – transcended theory: it was accepted as a blueprint to solve the problem. Hyeon joined Centerbrook in 2003, working on academic and municipal buildings, including the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy Andover. He left Centerbrook in 2008 for RMJM Architects in New York, where he contributed to projects in China, Russia and Libya. He also was the Project Designer of a large renovation and addition to a student center and business school at Bellarmine University in Kentucky.

Hyeon returned to Centerbrook in 2013, working on projects at Quinnipiac University, including sports stadia. “My experience living in and writing about the house I grew up in has formed the baseline for my approach to design,” he says. “Korean architecture is more translucent, has more ambiguous and porous relationships among the built world and natural world, the inside and outside. One or all of the spaces can be envisioned by the inhabitants, and as with a painting different people can interpret it differently.”

FACTS

  • Favorite architects: Louis Kahn and Sou Fujimoto
  • Examined the Walt Disney Concert Hall for his Centerbrook Travel Grant
  • Likes to ski with his family