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Seoul Museum of Art Korea : SeMoA Building

New Cultural Building: Architecture Contest – design by ACME, architects

20 Oct 2009

Seoul Museum of Art – SeMoA II

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Date: 2009

Design: ACME

Competition Proposal

Seoul Museum of Art

The proposed Seoul Museum of Art aims to supplement the limited exhibition and storage space existing in Seoul. Apart from providing much needed additional exhibition and art space, the proposed building aims to redress the balance of cultural institutions in the city, the new museum will be located in the North-East of Seoul which is currently lacking any major cultural buildings.

The proposed site is located in a typical centrally planned residential area, a ‘bed town’ for 140,000 residents, many of which are young families. The residential density in these areas is comparatively high, with very little public space, green parks, community facilities or cultural spaces.

Seoul Museum of Art South Korea Seoul Museum of Art Korea Seoul Museum of Art Competition Seoul Museum of Art Competition

The designated building plot is located in one of the few green parks and the project attempts to redefine the relationship between art gallery and its surroundings in consideration of this context.

Rather then occupying the site and displacing the green park that existed previously, the proposed mass is shaped to respect the existing pedestrian flows through the site and to preserve as much of the ground as open space as possible. In this way, the building attempts to become an integral part of the park rather then a replacement.

The building is not intended to be just an extension of the existing Museum of Modern Art in terms of exhibition and storage space but also a museum for the local community. This requirement to provide art spaces for children, youth programs and events led to a building design that consciously attempts to overcome the notion of museums as inward looking ‘temples’. Rather then creating an imposing architectural single mass with a single entrance, the building is broken into a number of open and half-enclosed courtyards with fingers extending out into the park.

The stratified and bifurcating massing allows for a number of windows into the galleries itself and creates smaller, more human scale spaces that invite inhabitation, exploration and occupation. Entrances to various functions and rooms are distributed across the open courtyards that are located in the park. This will allow some of the event, children and youth programs to operate with a degree of independence and openness that would be impossible for the museum as a whole.

Seoul Museum of Art Seoul Museum of Art South Korea Seoul Museum of Art Korea Seoul Museum of Art Competition

The proposal tries to challenge the position of art as objects contained within the climatized opacity of the museum. By stratifying the museum into transparent fingers interspersed with courtyards, the building breaks down the clear boundaries between inside and outside. Art located within the courtyards appears as part of the park and the building, Art within the transparent fingers can be experienced from within and from the public park.
By virtue of its massing and its open relationship with the ground, the project becomes porous and permeable, the antipode to the closed black box museums of the past. This architectural porosity will allow residents, curators and artists to find new relationships to artworks, from formal exhibitions to incidental encounters, luring the community inside while letting art escape its traditional confines.

Seoul Museum of Art Seoul Museum of Art South Korea Seoul Museum of Art Korea Seoul Museum of Art Competition

Seoul Museum of Art – Building Information

LOCATION: Seoul, South Korea
CLIENT: City Council of Seoul
DATE: 2009
STATUS: Competition
SIZE: 13,000 m² Museum Exhibition and Storage Space
BUDGET: Not disclosed

ACME, London
Kelvin Chu, Daewon Kwak, Friedrich Ludwig, Andreas Reeg

Yooshin Architects & Engineers
Daeoh Kwon, Eunkyoung Ko, Hyunkyoung Oh, Jungheum Yun

Seoul Museum of Art Building images / information from ACME, architects

Acme Space, UK

Location: Seoul, Korea

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image courtesy architects office
Seoul Photographic Art Museum

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image courtesy of architects office
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OMA – Office for Metropolitan Architecture

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Comments / photos for the Seoul Museum of Art Korean Architecture page welcome

South Korea