SEOUL NATIONAL UNIVERSITY MUSEUM OF ART, SOUTH KOREA, SEOUL, 2005
Cantilevered building for education, exhibition and research
The Seoul National University Museum is defined by its siting on the side of a small hill, close to the entrance of the university. The building's form was conceived as a basic rectangular box, sliced diagonally by the incline of the hill. This form is then raised up on a small central core – the only point of contact with the ground – so the building is nearly all cantilever, extending up and down the hill, following the topography precisely and appearing to hover above it. The museum both defines and defeats the hill, and, by keeping the ground beneath it largely free, becomes an attractive conduit between the university campus and the outside community.
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Both outside and inside, free-flowing circulation was key to the thinking behind the building. The central core is an atrium with a square-spiral staircase connecting the various program areas: exhibition, education, library, and operations. The educational spaces – the lecture hall and auditorium – exploit the slope formed by the slice for their tiered seating. The library inhabits the structural core of the building. The exhibition space, being the primary function, inhabits the entire top floor. But it is also able to invade the educational spaces below by means of an angular ramped circulation path; the use of materials in these spaces also signals the potential continuity in the program. Elsewhere, materials vary, and include concrete flooring, plywood paneling, and translucent plastic paneling over fluorescent lighting. The museum's façade is also translucent, revealing the structural steel truss work beneath.
FACT SHEET
Status:
Completed 2005

Location:

Seoul, South Korea

Site:

Seoul National University Campus

Program:

4,478m2: Exhibition, Education, Library and Operations

Client:

Seoul National University Museum

Budget:
€7.7 million




COLLABORATORS

Local Architect:
Samoo Architects & Engineers

Structural Engineer:
Arup

Landscape Consultants:
Inside Outside, Petra Blaisse


Schematic Design 1997:

Architectural Technical Consultant:

Jihyon Kim Architect

Structural & Mechanical Engineerings:

Arup

Research & Development:
Erik Scholte, Bill Price

Acoustical Engineering:

TNO, Renz van Luxembourg

Lighting Consultant:

Ove Arup & Partners

Landscape Consultant:

Samoo Architects & Engineers

Museology Consultant:

Netherland Architectural Institute, Martin Langerlaan

Photography:

Hectic Pictures, Hans Werlemann


PUBLICATIONS

A+U #432, 09/06
GA Document #92, 08/06


Ideat, 10/06
Lotus international #127, 2006
PLUS Architecture & Interior Design #224
Wallpaper, 09/06


CREDITS
Partner in charge:
Rem Koolhaas

Associate in charge:

Kunle Adeyemi

Concept:
Roberto Otero, Shiro Ogata, George Bucher

Schematic & Design development:

Rodrigo Nunez, Jeremy Godenir, Camia Young, Steffi Wedde, Natacha Fricout, Daniela Zimmer, Antonis Karides, Rodney Eggleston with Minsuk Cho

Schematic Design 1997:

Partner in charge:

Rem Koolhaas

Team:

Minsuk Cho, Wim Eckert, Roberto Otero, Shiro Ogata, George Bucher with Piet Eckert, Young Joon Kim, Anthony Fontenot, Philipp Oswalt, Tae Hong Park, Andreas Huhn, Rodrigo Patricio, Sabine Schaaf, Rob de Maat, Franz Blok, Don Weber, Pilar Armand-Ugón, Emese Barcosi, Matteo Poli, Isabel Silva, Isabel Casanellas

VISITS
Seoul National University Museum
San 56-1 Sillim 9-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, South Korea



PRESS
CNN, 24 June 2009