Architecture 101

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Architecture 101
Architecture 101 film poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Revised RomanizationGeonchukhakgaeron
McCune–ReischauerKŏnch‘uk‘ak kaeron
Directed byLee Yong-ju
Produced byShim Jae-myung
Lee Eun
Written byLee Yong-ju
StarringUhm Tae-woong
Han Ga-in
Lee Je-hoon
Music byLee Ji-soo
CinematographyJo Sang-yoon
Edited byKim Sang-bum
Kim Jae-bum
Myung Films
Distributed byLotte Entertainment
Release date
  • March 22, 2012 (2012-03-22)
Running time
118 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$26.7 million[1]

Architecture 101 (Korean건축학개론; RRGeonchukhakgaeron; lit. Introduction to Architecture) is a 2012 South Korean romance film written and directed by Lee Yong-ju. The film tells the story of two students who meet in an introductory architecture class and fall in love. Fifteen years later, the girl tracks down her first love to seek his help in building her dream house.[2]


Seoul, the present day. Out of the blue, architect Lee Seung-min (Uhm Tae-woong) is approached by Yang Seo-yeon (Han Ga-in), whom he knew at college some 17 years previously, to design a new house for her on the site of her 30-year-old family home on Jeju island. Seung-min reluctantly agrees but can't come up with a design that pleases her. In the end, they decide to renovate and expand the existing house, and he and Seo-yeon spend a considerable amount of time together down in Jeju, to the growing annoyance of his fiancée Eun-chae (Go Joon-hee), with whom he is soon to be married and move to the US. As Seo-yeon cares for her dying father (Lee Seung-ho) and Seung-min learns more about what became of Seo-yeon in the intervening years, he recalls their initial meeting at college in the early 1990s.

Seung-min and Seo-yeon (Lee Je-hoon and Suzy) had lived in the same neighborhood (Jeongneung-dong, Seoul) and attended the same architecture class. He remembers her liking rich student Jae-wook (Yoo Yeon-seok), his inability to declare his attraction to her, and the times being coached by his best friend, Nab-ddeuk (Jo Jung-suk) in how to get girls. Hoping to confess his feelings to her at the perfect timing, Seung-min asks Seo-yeon to meet him at the abandoned house they frequent, on the first day that it snows that coming winter. But one night he catches Jae-wook and a drunk Seo-yeon entering her house together. Fearing the worst, he ends his friendship with Seo-yeon due to his pain of believing she had chosen Jae-wook. The first day of snow arrives, and Seo-yeon is left waiting in the abandoned house alone. Heartbroken, she leaves behind her portable CD player with a CD of her favorite artist.

Seo-yeon in the present day receives that very same CD player and CD from Seung-min, meaning that he actually went to the house later and remembered their promise. But despite the bitter-sweetness of their first love, in the end, Seung-min still chooses his fiancée Eun-chae and flies with her to America, while Seo-yeon sits in the house he built for her, listening to the CD.[3][4][5][6]



Director Lee Yong-ju has a bachelor's degree in architecture from Yonsei University, and collaborated with architect Gu Seung-hoe to accurately depict the architectural details shown and mentioned in the film.[18] The film was shot on location in the Seoul neighborhood of Jeong-neung and in Jeju Island.[4]

It was chosen as the closing film at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival.[19][20][21][22]

In late August 2012, Typhoon Bolaven, regarded as the most powerful storm to strike the Korean Peninsula in nearly a decade, severely damaged Seo-yeon's house that was constructed especially for the movie.[23] The house was rebuilt and renovated,[24] designed by architect Gu Seung-hoe (executive consultant of construction for the film), with the interior design by Woo Seung-mie (the film's art director). It opened in March 2013 as a cafe, called Cafe Seo-yeon's House.[25]


The film reignited 1990s throwback fever among Koreans and made the fashion, music and celebrities of the period cool once again. Songs from the '90s, including duo Exhibition’s "Etude of Memory" were included on the score. Characters also use pagers, hair mousse, and portable CD players. The protagonist is even obsessed with GUESS T-shirts - counterfeits that were popular among Koreans in the 1990s. Nostalgia-inducing scenes that feature characters expressing awe at a one gigabyte hard drive computer or communicating with each other via landline telephones also brought the audience back in time.[26]

And the movie’s impact on the present-day market was felt. Exhibition, the duo known as JeonRamHwe in Korea, saw a sudden increase in sales of its first EP, which was released in 1993, by 70 times in April compared to the previous month, with sales of the duo’s following EPs also on the rise. Yes 24 temporarily made a page on its official website that lists EPs from the 1990s alongside contemporary artists who are known to emulate the sentiments of the 1990s.[26]


Architecture 101 was released in South Korean theaters on March 22, 2012. It was subsequently released in Hong Kong on October 22, 2012.[27]

Home video[edit]

On September 19, 2012, a two-disc limited edition DVD was released containing extra footage shot and edited by the director Lee Yong-ju, audio commentary by actors Uhm Tae-woong, Lee Je-hoon and Suzy,[28] interviews and trailers, and a book containing pictures and production images from the set.[29]

Among the deleted scenes are a flashback scene of Seung-min and Nab-ddeuk walking side-by-side; adult Seung-min taking a drunk Seo-yeon to her hotel room; and a longer, deeper kiss between Lee Je-hoon and Suzy. The scenes ended up on the cutting room floor because the director felt they did not fit the movie's tone.[30]


The film captured viewers’ attention and earned critical plaudits with its restrained style and well drawn characters.[4]

It held the No. 1 spot at the box office for three weeks after its release, attracting over 1 million viewers in only eight days, passing 2 million in seventeen days, and reaching 3 million on April 18.[31][32][33][34][35] Male moviegoers are the backbone of the movie’s sales, an unusual path to success for a romantic drama.[36] Critics have said that Architecture 101 especially resonates with the nostalgia men feel for their first loves.[37]

It was one of the ten most-watched films in Korea in the first quarter of 2012 (No. 4 with 3.4 million tickets sold).[38][39] 9 weeks after its theater release, it reached over 4.1 million admissions, a new box office record for Korean melodramas.[4][40][41]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Recipient Result Ref.
48th Baeksang Arts Awards
Best New Actor Lee Je-hoon Nominated [42]
Best New Actress Suzy Won [43]
6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards
20's Male Movie Star Lee Je-hoon Won [44]
20's Female Movie Star Suzy Won
20's Booming Actor Jo Jung-suk Won
5th Style Icon Awards
First Love Fantasies Suzy Won
16th Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival
Fantasia Award Lee Je-hoon Won
21st Buil Film Awards
Best Film Architecture 101 Nominated [45]
Best Supporting Actor Jo Jung-suk Nominated
Best New Director Lee Yong-ju Nominated
Best New Actor Jo Jung-suk Nominated
Best New Actress Suzy Nominated
Best Screenplay Lee Yong-ju Won
Best Cinematography Jo Sang-yoon Nominated
Best Music Lee Ji-soo Nominated
49th Grand Bell Awards
Best Director Lee Yong-ju Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jo Jung-suk Nominated
Best New Actor Jo Jung-suk Nominated
Best New Actress Suzy Nominated
Popularity Award Suzy Nominated
32nd Korean Association of Film Critics Awards
Best Music Lee Ji-soo Won [46]
33rd Blue Dragon Film Awards
Best New Actor Jo Jung-suk Won [47]
Best New Actress Suzy Nominated [48]
Best Screenplay Lee Yong-ju Nominated
Best Cinematography Jo Sang-yoon Nominated
Best Art Direction Woo Seung-mi Nominated
Best Lighting Park Se-mun Nominated
Best Music Lee Ji-soo Nominated
Popularity Award Suzy Won [47]
20th Korean Culture and Entertainment Awards
Best New Actor Jo Jung-suk Won [49]
4th KOFRA Film Awards
Won [50]


  1. ^ "Architecture 101 Box Office Gross". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2012-05-13.
  2. ^ "Han Ga-in and other Introduction to Architecture stars talk about their first loves". Korea JoongAng Daily. March 15, 2012.
  3. ^ "Architecture 101" Archived 2012-05-24 at the Wayback Machine. Film Business Asia. May 21, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c d "Box office, April 1-30". Korean Film Biz Zone. May 30, 2012.
  5. ^ "Box Office". The Korea Herald. February 24, 2012.
  6. ^ "Architecture 101 (2012)". The Chosun Ilbo. March 23, 2012.
  7. ^ "Interview: Han Ga In Likes Kissing Uhm Tae Woong More than Kim Soo Hyun". enewsWorld. March 27, 2012.
  8. ^ "Interview: Han Ga-in, "It's not that I didn't, I couldn't"". Star In via Hancinema. March 27, 2012.
  9. ^ "Han Ga-in Still Wrestling with Innocent Image". The Chosun Ilbo. March 31, 2012.
  10. ^ "Han Ga-in struggles to overcome innocent image" Archived 2012-05-06 at the Wayback Machine. Korea Joongang Daily. April 4, 2012.
  11. ^ "Lee Je Hoon is Doing Three Things at the Same Time". enewsWorld. March 15, 2012.
  12. ^ "Suzy Talks about Her...First Love?". enewsWorld. March 14, 2012.
  13. ^ "Suzy Shines in Chungmuro through Architecture 101". enewsWorld. March 14, 2012.
  14. ^ "INTERVIEW: Bae Suzy: I was worried that the dark circles under my eyes were going to show on a big screen". 10Asia. April 9, 2012.
  15. ^ "INTERVIEW: Bae Suzy: I really don't want to look weak in front of other people. Never.". 10Asia. April 9, 2012.
  16. ^ "Miss A's Su-zy Wins Over Critics with Film Debut". The Chosun Ilbo. April 14, 2012.
  17. ^ "Yoo Yeon Seok Stands Out as the Easy-to-Hate Villain in Architecture 101". enewsWorld. March 23, 2012.
  18. ^ Architecture 101, a Film about Architects and Love . enewsWorld, March 15, 2012.
  19. ^ "Architecture 101 to close Shanghai International Film Festival". 10Asia. June 19, 2012.
  20. ^ "Red carpet a big step for Han Ga-in" Archived 2012-07-14 at the Wayback Machine. Korea JoongAng Daily. June 20, 2012.
  21. ^ "Han Ga In's Overwhelming Beauty Acknowledged by Chinese Paparazzi". enewsWorld. June 26, 2012.
  22. ^ "Lee Je Hoon Attends Shanghai International Film Festival". enewsWorld. June 26, 2012.
  23. ^ "Architecture 101 House Severely Damaged After Typhoon Bolaven". enewsWorld. August 30, 2012.
  24. ^ "Architecture 101 Home to Be Renovated Into a Gallery and Café". enewsWorld. September 18, 2012.
  25. ^ "Jeju Shooting Site of ARCHITECTURE 101, Renovated as a Cafe". Korean Film Biz Zone. March 27, 2013.
  26. ^ a b "I ♥ the '90s" Archived 2012-06-12 at the Wayback Machine. Korea Joongang Daily. May 3, 2012.
  27. ^ "初戀築跡101 on Yahoo! Hong Kong". Yahoo! Hong Kong (in Chinese). Retrieved 2012-11-16.
  28. ^ "miss A's Suzy, Uhm Tae Woong, and Lee Jae Hoon Gather Together to Record Commentary for Architecture 101". Soompi. July 26, 2012.
  29. ^ "Special edition of Architecture 101 to be released". Korea JoongAng Daily. September 13, 2012. Archived from the original on September 18, 2012.
  30. ^ "Preview Architecture 101's Suzy and Lee Jae Hoon's Kiss and Deleted Scenes". enewsWorld. May 3, 2012.
  31. ^ "Introduction to Architecture leads local box office". 10Asia. March 26, 2012.
  32. ^ "Intro to Construction Theory ranked Box Office #1". StarN News. March 25, 2012.
  33. ^ "Intro to Construction Theory almost one million tickets sold". StarN News. March 27, 2012.
  34. ^ "Introduction to Architecture paves the way for 2nd win on local box office". 10Asia. April 2, 2012.
  35. ^ "Introduction to Architecture marks 3rd win on weekend box office". 10Asia. April 9, 2012.
  36. ^ "Suzy and Han Ga-in part of soon-to-be No. 1 team in Architecture 101" Archived 2012-04-20 at the Wayback Machine. Korea Joongang Daily. March 30, 2012.
  37. ^ "70% of those in 20s, 30s want to keep first love in memory" Archived June 11, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. The Korea Times. May 3, 2012.
  38. ^ "Korean movies notch up higher number in 1Q ticket sales". 10Asia. April 9, 2012.
  39. ^ "Architecture 101 Becomes Korea′s Most Watched Mellow-Romance Movie". enewsWorld. April 22, 2012.
  40. ^ "Bootleg of Architecture 101 Leaked Online". The Chosun Ilbo. May 10, 2012.
  41. ^ "Over 4 million people viewed Intro to Construction Theory". StarN News. May 15, 2012.
  42. ^ "Nominees in 48th Baeksang Arts Awards bared" Archived May 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. Manila Bulletin. March 30, 2012.
  43. ^ "Suzy wins 'Best New Actress' award". StarN News. April 28, 2012.
  44. ^ "Winners announced at 6th Mnet 20's Choice Awards" Archived 2015-05-01 at the Wayback Machine. 10Asia. June 29, 2012.
  45. ^ "21st Buil Film Awards". Buil Film Awards (in Korean). Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
  46. ^ "PIETA Wins a Triple Crown: KAFC Announces winners of KAFC Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. October 19, 2012.
  47. ^ a b "PIETA Wins Best Picture at Blue Dragon Awards". Korean Film Biz Zone. December 4, 2012.
  48. ^ "2012 Blue Dragon Film Awards - nominations". Chino Kino. November 17, 2012.
  49. ^ "Winners - Film category". 20th KCEA Awards. Archived from the original on 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  50. ^ "PIETA Regarded as the Best Film in 2012 by Reporters". Korean Film Biz Zone. February 1, 2013.

External links[edit]