FIGURING THE VOID
Sejong Administrative City, South Korea
Masterplan; Museums, Operation Center, Central Art Storage Facility
Sejong, Administrative City
190,000 sqm / 2,045,000 sqft
SOUTH KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM COMPLEX
In an effort to relocate government more centrally in greater South Korea, the government has been building an Administrative City 120 km (95mi) South of Seoul. In order to make this city a center for culture the government commissioned a National Museum Complex on the edge of the central ‘green heart’ of the city.
Museum Districts are often built as collections of individual iconic objects with little relationship between one another. With the National Museum Complex, Korea has the opportunity to invert this typical condition. In this new Museum Complex, the voids of public space are the iconic spaces reflecting a new attitude and relationship between the public and spaces for viewing exhibitions. The buildings become a textural space joined by voids of public space and intimate passageways. Just as the different museums will support each other through programming, we envision the site as a matrix of interdependent buildings and spaces.
FIGURING THE VOID
In order to construct this textual space we deployed a formal system that facilitates urban density and spatial variety onto the site. A South East to North-West striation of the site serves to connect the Central Park to the east with destinations to the west. This striation reduces the scale of the building masses, allowing natural light through the gaps while facilitating east-west connections between the park and destinations across the creek. The cuts in the massing provide a rhythm of internal streets as one transverses the long direction of the site creating pedestrian scale intervals between buildings and space. Wider routes are cut across these bands to delineate primary axes across the site, setting up a hierarchy of movement without reducing flexibility and serendipity. The result is a perceptible urban texture laid across the site which helps orient and pace one’s movement in and around the buildings.