International practice, UNStudio, in partnership with DA Group, Squint/Opera, Loos van Vliet and UNSense, is declared winner of the international competition to design the new Chungnam Art Museum in South Korea. The competition invited international heavyweight architectural firms, including UNStudio, BIG, Steven Holl, Snohetta, Grafton and ALA to compete for the new museum design.
The UNStudio scheme aims to deliver smart art museum experience that goes beyond a traditional set up, creating a fully immersive cultural and social experience for the whole community. The design aims to create first zero-energy museum in South Korea while providing new form of interactive engagement between the art and the public.
The design creates opportunities to bring together the community and experience art in new ways. The landscape plays an important part, and the museum design turns it inside out, creating a dialogue with the city of Chungnam and the mountains beyond.
Ben van Berkel of UNStudio explains, “Art has the power to bring people together. It inspires, it teaches and it fosters communities. The Chungnam Art Museum will be a place for people to experience this…and much more.”
In the landscape, the architects have created two defining strategies to help people in wayfinding and to encourage chance encounters, creating communication spaces. First is the plateaued central courtyard, which is the central wayfinding element, helping people to orient themselves, while blurring the boundaries between outside and inside.
Berkel continues, “The museum is designed as a place of inspiration, participation and contribution – to both art and the community.”
The architects have also created a cultural boulevard, which acts as a connector, weaving the main access routes through the building and into the central courtyard. The cultural boulevard continues to the Arts Centre and the Library also activates common functions.
The design ultimately hopes to create museum of the future that are not only meant to display and archive art, but also encourage new ways of interaction with it and foster a community spirit where we come together to celebrate the artist and the city at large. The museums motto ‘art for all’ is reflected in its flexible space design, creating diverse cultural experience, far removed from the strict formal institutional image of museums we all know so well.