Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
National Museum of World Writing in Songdo International Business District, South Korea by Horizon Design Studio Pvt Ltd
November 17th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Horizon Design Studio Pvt Ltd
The proposed Museum of World Writing is located at Central park of Songdo International Business District known as ‘ubiquitous city’. Since this city of 1500 acres is build from the scratch on reclaimed land from Sea, the proposed form respect and consider this aspect as well as the actual site within which the building will sit.
The proposed building form reciprocate these aspects and harmonize not only to the site within the site (Central Park) but the whole built environment at vicinity, the new Songdo City, its port (second busiest in Korea) and to the countries’ busiest airport as the site is situated parallel to the city’s main access to the airport.
Since public spaces are most essential element of any city, which not only influence the lives of individual but society as a whole. This museum is intended to be belonged to everyone and design incorporates these essential and practical aspects delivering a truly functional pragmatic museum.
Design Concept – in Continuation
A museum is the symbol of regeneration, preservation and continuation and this has been the essence of our proposed design process.
The design for the National Museum of World Writing is based on intuitive and sympathetic approach to the context, nature of site and Songdo city as a whole. The vast scale of site , the central park , the reclaimed land from sea, the location of Songdo within Incheon City, the high rise office towers in surrounding and the purpose of museum itself assists to provide the clues for design concept.
The design is intended to enhance , create, reinvent the missing or existing key pedestrian link, built mass and other open spaces of the central park and its immediate built urban environment. The idea is to have a museum building which is welcoming and friendly to public and appropriately embraces site surrounding and context without dominating it.
The museum building is sitting on an elevated plinth / podium. The plinth consists of basement which is housing the parking, services, the storage , special exhibition gallery, and a central atrium with cafe. Two connecting entries are introduced for visitors to improve the connectivity at this level and eventually to the building as whole.
Design Concept – Abstract
The discovery of first metal by man becomes his first step towards modernization and arguably the invention of script is ‘first step to the path leading to civilization’. The invention of written script is what may have distinguished and established human’s superiority over animals. Therefore it won’t be an over statement to make that ‘Written script invention is probably the greatest invention of human’s during Bronze-age to Iron- age.”
The first discovery of metal was Copper followed by bronze and ultimately Iron. The continuity of this period is displayed by using and exhibiting the COR-TEN Steel as main cladding material. These facade’s cladding will have ancient language symbols and scripted and cut-through them. The similar pattern of Language Scripts engraved in concrete and also displayed on the translucent glass – the emitting light in night will exhibit and remind the city of relevance of this invaluable treasure.
The building also consists of eight Large columns which are intentionally designed as little disproportionate to the form. The idea behind is to represent the ‘known eight direction’ across the globe – of which this museum belongs to. The columns are inclined to have an origin beneath the earth – somewhere below the museum itself – The torch light from them to the sky – will be represent the infinity – a tribute to all the lost and undocumented world scripts – which took centuries to evolve and then lost forever – without a trace..
Building layout and form
The proposed building layout is simple and symmetrical, the architecture in center is open and raw resulting in a public building which is clean, efficient and visually and functionally legible. The building is non imposing in terms of shape and size – giving freedom to the visitors as how to use it.
The museum building by its compact ‘Zero’ inverted shape and variation in height helps to retain the integrity of the central park and surrounding by respecting the open character of park and area around. Main public functions are easily accessed with a clear separation of private and service functional spaces. The building shapes doesn’t have any sharp edges thus retaining the continuity on the external skin of building – avoiding essentially any rear or front and thus keeping the balance of visitors moment from all side .
The museum makes best use of its ellipse shape with continuous ring of translucent glass & clear glass – which in day time create an atmosphere of transparency and of welcoming feeling and at night the multi-layer facade of translucent and clear glass diffuse and reflects the internal light making the museum as a lamp / lantern of the central park.
The corridors and the projected balconies around the central atrium will encourages people to flow within this public building uninterruptedly. The delicately assembled fragmented volumes will create logical passages in between, which will allow the visitors to break from long corridors and also offers the flexibility about use of space. The proposed design promotes openness and boost public engagement. Visitors will be able to enjoy and appreciate the exhibits and the building itself while walking through these simple magnificent but generous corridors.
The lavish passage in-between the exhibition galleries will be a complementary open space. The comfortable atmosphere creating an contradictory feeling of being social and familiar.
Gracing the Park and waterfront
The distinctive yet elegantly ‘sculptured -like’ appearance sitting majestically on podium provides a charismatic addition to the park and city skyline. Clearly visible by its distinctive yet fitting shape and size in 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 (part) or air (airport).
The Museum Building – with circulation Strategy
Once in Museum the central staircase is the primary vertical circulation. It is split on either side of exhibition galleries and public spaces. A linear straight stair reaches directly to the second floor’s Education area and Library.
The functional spaces are also connected through two ramps – parallel to each other. The internal ramp and the roof of internal ramp is denoted as external ramp – The internal ramps connects the Ground floor to First and Second floor and ascends within the void along with longitudinal southern side of the building offering a majestic view of the park. The external ramp (roof of the internal ramp will have uninterrupted access to top terrace to the public from outside the museum. On the North East side. The external stairs takes visitors to the lower terrace and there will be provision for the Museum staff to access the First floor office from these stairs.
The use of Cor-ten Steel as facade cladding pay homage to ‘Copper to Iron Age\” during which the various language scripture were evolved and developed from Copper-age to Bronze-age and then throughout Iron Age. The material as a facade skin will also be easy to maintain and with adequate paint coating protection will face the Sea’s salt wind in desired and natural process – as the World’s language scripts have been through.
The museum will makes best use of its ellipse shape with continuous ring of translucent glass & clear glass – which in day time create an atmosphere of transparency and of welcoming feeling and at night the multi-layer facade of translucent and clear glass diffuse and reflects the internal light making the museum as a lamp / lantern of this park.
The proposed ‘National Museum of World Writing’ will ultimately be a unique, conveniently accessible and a very public building. It will be effectively a new addition to destination’s of Songdo city along with waterfront and Central park.
This timeless and priceless treasured collection of humanity which continuously and constantly evolved from ‘Stone-Age’ through Iron-age to present 21st Century needs equally commensurate building – if not less.
The proposed building is designed to meet most of these aspects and design requirements – if not all.
Contact Horizon Design Studio Pvt Ltd