Layers of time

Tuesday 09 Jul 2013

Junglim's Museum of Korean Contemporary History in Gwanghwamun Square draws on layers of history for banded design

The National Museum of Korean Contemporary History by Junglim Architecture remodels existing public buildings - used for about 60 years as symbols of the country - to plan and record the history of the Republic of Korea. It looks to provide places where people can gather. 

The site is located in Gwanghwamun Square - an axis that represents the starting point of the country. As a museum that captures the history of the Republic of Korea, it has been designed to 'express sentiments of the country'. Accordingly, the concrete structure suggest misty moods with a double white glass design. Defined as the connecting point of the fragmented square, the bridge and History Road, is an architectural solution for the unique urban context of the site where Gwanghwamun Square and the current Ministry of Culture and Tourism building are located.

The team at Junglim Architecture reinforced the existing concrete structure (used for about 50 years) and installed a damper, improving the building's seismic performance. To change the internal layout, office spaces were transformed into galleries and underground excavation carried out. A sustainable plan preserved buried cultural heritage and natural soil.

The building's rating from the Green Building Rating System, Energy Performance Index (EPI) is 94.5, reusing about 57% of the existing structure. Also, the structure controls solar radiation using the original horizontal structure, strengthens insulation performance, uses solar power, solar hot water, recycled materials and carbon footprint certification materials, reuses storm water, and incorporates a green roof system, green walls and bicycle facilities.

The project creates a new place where cultural activities will be taking place. Also, as a public space with various exhibitions and programs which support the role of Gwanghwamun square, the National Museum of Korean Contemporary History Museum is designed to act in a role of a 'Memory Archive’, a museum which records traces, cities and the daily life of people.

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