National Museum of Contemporary Art
Client: Korean Ministry of Culture
Completion Date: 1987
Our design of this 300,000 square foot museum, located in a cultural park outside Seoul, was selected by the Korean Ministry of Culture through a design-competition. The design captures the feeling of the syrroundng mountain range, which is small in scale, but magnificent in character. The biggest challenge was designing a large building that would not overpower the landscape. Drawing inspiration from ancient Korean temples, we conceived the museum as a series of small interesting structures placed on podiums that rise above the surrounding landscape. The podiums are defined by bridges, water, gardens and walls built of pink granite. The resulting building offers surprisingly different views of a series of varied shapes, as one approaches and moves through the complex. The museum houses permanent collections of Western and Oriental Art and contains temporary exhibit areas, a rental gallery, an art school, a research library, a performance spce and outdoor sculpture gardens. All exhibit and major spaces are accessible to the handicapped, primarily through the centrally located ramped tower.