National Museum of World Writing – Korea

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has sponsored an international design competition with the purpose to create an architecture project for the National Museum of World Writing, in Korea. 
View of Museum from Lake | Photo courtesy of Horizon Design Studio
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he site of the National Museum of World Writing is in the Central Park of Songdo International Business District, an area of 1500 reclaimed from the sea and built from scratch. The site has an odd geometry, where three geometrical shapes fuse together and form an eight-edged shape. The main purpose of this competition is to create a building that coexists harmoniously with the odd shapes and the environment around this site. It will be located near Songdo’s second busiest port and near the busiest airport of the country, right next to its main access from the city.

Public buildings are meant to belong to everyone and they influence the life of the society revolving around these spaces, so the design must be functional and essential. The museum will be built on a podium shape that reflects its location and in a central position for the different routes and accesses to the park.

The National Museum of World Writing is meant for the collection, conservation, research and exhibition of the writing systems of various nations across the globe, and to create a multi-use cultural space for experience and education as well as creative activities.

This architecture project by Sunil Yadav and his team of designers and illustrators of Horizon Design Studio consists of an elegant but functional building, in harmony with the park, the waterfront and the urban scenery where it will be built.

Aerial CGI of Museum of World Writing | Photo courtesy of Horizon Design Studio

The design is intended to enhance, create, reinvent the pedestrian link. The idea is to create a welcoming and friendly place that embraces the surroundings. The museum building is sitting on an elevated plinth / podium, which consists of a basement housing the parking, services, storage, special exhibitions gallery and a central atrium with cafe. Two connecting entrances for visitors want to improve the connectivity at this level and eventually to the building as whole.

Site Plan | Photo courtesy of Horizon Design Studio

The proposed building layout is simple and symmetrical. The central architecture is open and raw with the result of having a public building which is clean, efficient, visually and functionally legible. The building is non imposing in terms of shape and size, giving freedom to the visitors on how to use it.

The distinctive yet elegantly ‘sculptured-like’ appearance provides a charismatic addition to the park and city skyline. It is clearly visible by its distinctive shape and size in the cluster of akin high rise buildings. The museum building, taking advantage of spectacular setting of park and waterfront, will leave a remarkable imprint on the visitors arriving either by land, sea or air.

Central Atrium Looking From Reception | Photo courtesy of Horizon Design Studio

The materials used are COR-TEN Steel and Translucent glass. The use of Cor-ten Steel as facade cladding pays homage to the “Copper to Iron Age” during which the various language scriptures developed from Copper-age to Bronze-age and then towards the Iron Age. The material as a facade skin will also be easy to maintain and with adequate coat painting protection, which will face the sea’s salty wind as a natural process, just as the world’s language scripts have been through.

Aerial Night View of Proposed Museum | Photo courtesy of Horizon Design Studio

The museum will make the best use of its ellipse shape with a continuous ring of translucent glass and clear glass, which during the day will create an atmosphere of a welcoming feeling and at night the multi-layer facade of translucent and clear glass will diffuse and reflect the internal light making the museum as a lantern in the park.


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