These architectural adaptations from China continued into
the late 1300s and early 1400s with the arrival of the Tap'o Style, which was
derived from the Song Dynasty in China. This blossomed under the Confucian Joseon
Dynasty (or Choson; 1392-1897). During this time there was a significant shift from
building pagodas, as Buddhism was rejected by the new leadership.
Many buildings were built in the Tap'o style, but some of the best are also
the earliest, including the Simwon Temple's Pokwangjon Hall and the Sokwang
Temple's Eungjinjon Hall, both from the late 1300s. In addition to these early
Tap'o buildings, numerous other examples from the Joseon Dynasty remain today.
Much of the still standing architecture in this style was built during the latter
half of the Joseon Dynasty's reign and the bulk of it was built in Seoul. The
massive Kyongbok Palace (1500s, but destroyed and rebuilt in 1865-1867) in Seoul
(South Korea) is a great recreation of this style in
the palace form. The temples from this time and in this style are also numerous,
including the Hua'om Temple, Kaisim Temple, Muwi Temple, and the Pongjong Temple.
Despite the lack of pagoda-building, there is a significant marble pagoda in the
Tap'o style in Seoul's Pagoda Park (South Korea).
In 1910 the Korean Peninsula was taken over by Japan and this
foreign occupier encouraged traditional Japanese architecture. This led to the building
of some new Japanese-styled buildings, but more often just resulted in the lack
of maintenance in traditional Korean structures and the destruction of some. The
Japanese also introduced the Neo-Classical style from Europe
and the Seoul Station (1925; in South Korea) and Seoul
City Hall (1926; in South Korea) are both prime examples of this style.
After World War II Japan lost control over the Korean Peninsula and shortly after
the peninsula was divided into north and south. The north fell under strong Soviet
and Chinese influence and their architectural style moved
parallel to the Soviet's. Much of the construction since this time has been
focused on economic growth, meaning factories and housing have been the focus as
religion has been fought. This leaves much of the country's modern buildings,
most notably in the capital of Pyongyang to consist of simple concrete Soviet-styled
housing complexes and factories. Also like the Soviets, the
North Koreans built a massive and impressive subway system in the capital
and have built on a scale larger than is logical, including Kim il-Sung Stadium,
which is the largest in the world.