Arario Gallery Seoul / Schemata Architects
Textual content description supplied by the architects. Kim Swoo-geun’s masterpiece “Area,” a constructing designed between 1971 and 1977 throughout South Korea’s navy dictatorship, explores the identification of Korean structure through the use of bricks each inside and out of doors, a typical constructing materials within the nation. Subsequent to the constructing, Jang Se-yang, one among his disciples, constructed an open-plan glazed constructing in 1997 as a logo of a brand new period, creating a powerful distinction and marking the realm’s historical past. In 2014, a conventional Korean hanok was relocated to the location, and the brick constructing was transformed to a museum, whereas the glass constructing was transformed to a restaurant.
One other strengthened concrete and brick constructing stood behind the buildings on the identical web site. This time, the shopper requested us to transform it right into a gallery. Coincidentally, we visited this museum on our first go to to Korea in 2014, instantly after the constructing modified to the Arario Museum. I keep in mind how impressed I used to be with the human-scale area and the consolation I felt then, however I had by no means imagined that I might be concerned on this mission. However you by no means know. Such coincidences do occur generally. Whereas I used to be very grateful, it was an important problem for me, a Japanese architect, to work on the third constructing (excluding the hanok), particularly after seeing the proper distinction between the 2 buildings already created by the grasp and the disciple. I discovered that this constructing had been accomplished earlier than the glass constructing was constructed. The architects had designed the constructing freely with none restrictions and submitted for a constructing allow. Nonetheless, they have been instructed to make use of the identical colour bricks for the outside partitions as a result of it was a historic district, and Kim Swoo-geun’s masterpiece stood subsequent to the constructing.
On this context, we thought that inserting one other distinctive function into the panorama wouldn’t be applicable and determined to make use of bricks to reorganize the outside of the location that remained unorganized after the development of the hanok, protect Kim Swoo-geun’s worldview created together with his bricks, and set a backdrop for the complete web site. We additionally wished to create a constructing that appears unchanged on the surface however feels completely different from the opposite two as one approaches it, enters, and experiences a memorable sequence of occasions there. To this finish, we determined to insert a “white dice” into the present brick-and-concrete skeleton and used all forms of white supplies to let guests really feel many alternative whites as they went inside and approached them. On the similar time, we initially deliberate to take away all of the partitions within the VIP room on the fifth flooring to open it up on all 4 sides, thereby creating a novel sequence and a major distinction with the black bricks on the outside facades, with out revealing delicate variations in white when the constructing is seen from a distance.
Midway by way of the development, nonetheless, we found that breaking down the south wall adjoining to the 2 buildings by the grasp and his disciple may probably destroy them, and we all of the sudden needed to change the design. It was like climbing as much as the eighth station of a excessive mountain after which being pressured to return to the third station. So, aiming for the tenth station once more, we redesigned the mission, making certain it was in step with the parts already accomplished. We determined to keep up the white colour of the white dice as a lot as doable, contemplating the existence of immovable white parts reminiscent of marble. And we designed the sequence with solely three parts: the white inside partitions, the concrete skeleton, and the bricks on the outside. Particularly, in making the areas, we began with a mixture of “white + concrete + brick” and subtracted parts one after the other to ” white + concrete,” “concrete + brick,” then “brick,” “concrete,” and at last “openings” with out the weather, in accordance with the required function in every place.
The gallery, particularly, was envisioned as pure white, with its flooring, partitions, and ceiling composed totally of white parts. The stairwells connecting every flooring have vast openings to permit the view of the Palace past, and the inside isn’t white however product of concrete or different supplies just like the skeleton as a lot as doable. On this means, we established repetitive patterns the place guests would emerge from the white dice right into a skeleton area and see the Palace past as they ascend to the higher flooring. On this repetitive course of, the view of the Palace outdoors steadily modifications, the aim of the rooms additionally modifications, and as soon as one reaches the VIP room on the fifth flooring, the white partitions disappear, and extra openings and skeleton parts seem. All parts vanish when one ascends to the roof, revealing a ravishing view of the Palace. The basement connects to the museum by way of the primary entrance, and the bricks from the museum aspect prolong into the inside.