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International Design Competition for Incheon Geomdan Museum-Library Cultural Complex
Location | Geomdan New Town, Incheon, South Korea
Completion | 2023

In Collaboration with 도시락건축사사무소

Premise 1 | Each area inside and outside maintain independence with its own order, INDEX
“Independence gives birth to coexistence.”

Premise 2 | Each area coexists maintaining the longest threshold, STRATA.
“Flowers bloom on every threshold.” 

01 We propose a facility that connects and induces flow in the form of a channel. Different functions gathered together in one building that embraces the central lake and evokes architecture. Carefully responding to the landscape, proposed design encourages the visitors to realign themselves with nature and rediscover the historical findings of the site.

02 Architecture and nature are perfectly blended to create a unique element where the design and the landscape communicate harmoniously. Immersed in the ground and emerging on the surface, like archaeological excavations, the project reveals the history of this place. The building rises from the middle to create a public outdoor space and entry yard, connecting the city and the park. Carefully planned visual extension between the lake and facilities intersects with the outdoor route, providing a three-dimensional walking exhibition experience to enhance synergy with the lake and the park.

03 Architecture recognizes each other's territory and becomes the backdrop of the museum and library, which are arranged side by side and interact with each other, overlapping with the cityscape on the one hand and the parkscape on the other, enabling a rich spatial experience. The architecture serves as both a visible object and a lens that actively looks toward the surroundings. The façade of the museum, which protrudes convexly toward the city, and the outdoor exhibition space on the roof represent the identity of the museum as a symbolism of local history and culture along with relics. The concave elevation toward the park is composed of transparent glass, providing a view of the park overlapping with the library.

04 The museum program combines an educational and convenience program on the ground level to form the structure for the facility’s social interaction, encouraging the park visitors to enter the building. Users entering the second floor arrive at an arcade. With the road in between, one sees a series of bookshelves, showcases, reading spaces and galleries on both sides. The arcade covered with a glass ceiling is an open space filled with light and is an open street where anyone can freely stroll and stay.The arcade promotes community building and meeting, as well as movement, featuring a large social stair used for conversation, gatherings and public lectures and presentations. Together, the arcade offers a wide array of opportunities for casual encounters among the visitors at all levels, allowing people with different functions to mix, getting cultural experiences.

05 There is a saying that “flowers bloom on all borders”. Instead of arbitrarily combining museums and libraries, we begin by understanding the differences between the two programs; museums and libraries have their own classification system. The long space between the library and the museum is a zone of open possibilities where novelty can be expressed, where new things sprout. By watching and reading in museums and libraries together, people recreate and reconstruct the experience as their own, much like a clock that reads with a combination of hour and minute hands. This knowledge reconstruction takes place actively in various ways at various user levels and scales, such as individuals, families, small groups, and academic organizations.
06 Users experience the facility while freely traveling through the wide and deep treasure trove of merging material culture and archival culture spread vertically and horizontally. The spatial order of the facility is established by strata and index, and furthermore, it becomes the order of external expansion and penetration. The two facilities, the museum and the library, which require classification, table of contents, and chronological division, exist independently with an arcade in their own order, and are classified, managed, and used. The two programs are penetrated longitudinally and crosswise by the user, and are connected and integrated from the user's point of view. Combinations of these overall planar and cross-sectional configurations occur, and architecture itself becomes an information system. In the horizontal direction, from Mt. Keunjjak to Mt. Mansusan, the three areas of the museum, arcade, and library are arranged in the form of an index, and the two external areas are connected. At the same time, in the vertical direction, different classification orders are overlapped and penetrated through the layers, from the streetside of the city to the waterside of the park.

07 The major programmatic components are distributed in horizontal bands across the building, and corridors, halls, stairwells, toilets, etc. are arranged in the common space between them. The elevator for visitors is connected to the central common space from all floors, and the museum and library share the parking lot on the basement floor, while the loading area and individual air conditioning facilities, storages are separated, so the management circulation is divided into separate areas for user/manager, museum/ library to ensure efficient use, operation, and management.

08 Visitors can experiences specialized exhibitions at the Geomdan Museum·Library Cultural Complex. The outdoor exhibition artifacts are displayed and celebrated on the facility's highest point, the rooftop and public promenade. Visitors take a light walk along the gentle slope and view the outdoor exhibition. The promenade, which started at both ends, splits into two branches as it goes to the middle, providing a richer viewing warning with different levels. On the roof of the reading space of the library, two courtyards are created in the middle of the green field exhibition yard, and the relics of the outdoor exhibition are intruded into the inner space of the reading room. Part of the museum's artifacts are opened through a glass box inserted into the street-facing elevation, shining like jewels at night. Inside, the relics and the new city on the other side overlap with each other. The parking area of the underground parking lot faces the storages of the museum and the library with a glass wall in between. The BOH of museums and libraries, such as huge automated book depositories, becomes a specialized design for the venue.

09 From the streetside, the weather-resistant corten steel plate, the main material of the building, shows the authenticity of the material as it is, reveals the temporality, and represents the timelessness of the land that holds the time of Geomdan within it. The glass curtain walls of the ground level and lakeside library enhance the building's sense of openness and bring the beautiful scenery of the park into the interior space. By using both passive and active strategies, the energy burden of the building is reduced and a physical environment for easy operation is created. Photovoltaic panels are installed on the roof surface, and utilizing the undeveloped land area makes it possible to use and manage geothermal energy. Evaporative cooling allows for summertime energy savings. Considering the programmatic nature of museums and libraries that need to be expanded, the suggested facility currently occupies only 1/4 of the park's FAR. Instead, expandable spaces are established for each floor to allow for future expansions. This flexible expansion option reduces the number of closures, the inconvenience to facility users, and the scope of construction.

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