Giant step forward international design/construction biddings
The majority of the TAE employees were later recruited by Korean construction companies and placed at responsible positions, and the architectural and engineering technologies they had acquired with TAE and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had become invaluable assets for getting overseas construction projects. They knew how to interpret bidding documents that included the terms of contract, special and technical specifications. They knew how to estimate project costs and had a keen knowledge of how to carry out projects using Critical Path Methods (CPM), which is an algorithm for scheduling a set of project activities and is an important tool for effective project management.
Bid winning news from the Middle East, Southeast Asian and even African countries decorate newspapers often nowadays. The brave Korean architects and engineers with the construction firms active in the overseas can usually trace their roots back to TAE – they know that they have learned from their fathers, uncles and senior engineers and architect s from the Building 1510 in the North Post of Yongsan Garrison, who had taught the latest engineering techniques to many Koreans including the former chairmen of Hyundai Construction Co., Ltd. and or Doosan Engineering and Construction Co., Ltd., and numerous others when South Korea was in the midst of rapid development.
Korean engineering and construction companies were not afraid of Chinese, Taiwanese or Japanese competitors, who had no experience to learn to read the international bidding documents and to tender the lowest acceptable bids. For several years, I evaluated the construction bids for Korean construction companies, utilizing the architectural/engineering expertise gained in designing numerous U.S. military facilities in Korea, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bangladesh and Negara Brunei Darussalam. I once won an international design competition held for the Jubail Industrial Zone, Saudi Arabia.
The Building 1510, built with cement hollow block bearing walls, now silently sits on the hill of the North Post, Yongsan Garrison, overlooking the widened Hangang Avenue and high rise apartments in Samkakji with the reminiscent of trams noisily running often releasing electrical sparks high at the trolley. The building was no doubt the headspring of the Korean evolutionary river of the architectural/engineering field.
The U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan is being scheduled to be relocated into Camp Humphreys by the end of 2018. The new landscape architects for the new Yongsan Park, I hope, will notice that the Building 1510 exists with the great memories of the pioneer American and Korean architects and engineers during the reconstruction era after the Korean War.
The writer, born in 1933 in Nagano, Japan, is a retired architect. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org