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SAMOO Wins Competition for Flagship Korean Cultural Center in New York City
Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 |

SAMOO Architecture PC, the New York studio of SAMOO Architects and Engineers based in Seoul, Korea, announced today that it has won an international competition for the design of The New York Korea Center, a new home for the Korean Cultural Service in New York. The eight-story, 33,000 square foot facility will offer spaces for exhibitions, performances, lectures, and administration. Korea House will be located on East 32nd Street, extending the vibrancy of Manhattan’s Korea Town to the Murray Hill neighborhood.

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Competition-winning entry for the new Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC: street perspective at night

“Korea Center will provide an international gateway to Korean culture, travel, and events,” said Mr. Myung Gi Sohn, President and CEO of SAMOO Architects and Engineers “It is a great honor to participate in a project of this significance”

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Street perspective during day

The winning design, submitted by SAMOO Architecture PC, New York City, in collaboration with SAMOO Architects and Engineers, embodies the modern Korean sensibility of innovation in harmony with tradition. A multi-layered glass façade creates a screen wall that illuminates three sculptural figures within—composed of polished ceramic, rough terracotta, and milled wood—representing Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. The iconic figures embrace the building’s three distinct zones: soaring public spaces, semi-public lecture rooms, and private administrative offices and artist studio.

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Bird’s eye view

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Front perspective

Layered behind the glass façade, an open frame will provide a canvas for display panels that convey a changing visual message to the passers-by. This dynamic architectural composition creates a welcoming space for the community.  The street level of Korea Center, for example, will focus on exhibits related to current popular trends in Korean culture, including music, movies, food, technology and TV dramas – a phenomenon known as the “Korean Wave.”  Visitors can also enjoy a library, café, and gardens, as well as performances in a 240-seat theater.

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Library

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Entry lobby

Korean Cultural Center New York by SAMOO Architecture PC

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Exhibition space

“The transparency of the façade opens the buildings activities to street life and energizes the surrounding area,” said Mr. Soon Woo Kwon Principal at SAMOO Architecture PC.

The site occupies 6,400 square feet on 32nd Street between Park and Lexington Avenues. Construction is scheduled to begin at the end of the year. LEED accreditation will be pursued in this project.

Images: SAMOO Architecture PC



Comments:
brandoo
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
This trendy looking architecture has lack of relationship with Korean culture. Only the contents of the space explains the purpose of the building. We don't have to be a nationalist when we design on this kind of brief, however it would be better if the building shows more characters and nation's inspiration to foreign culture through its presence.

moodoo
Shanghai
Thursday, January 21, 2010
This has everything to do with Korean architecture : eclectic and ambitious but also stretching for an visual identity muddled with confluences from virtually everywhere.

A lot of design proposals in/from Korea are super trendy and (thankfully) never get built. More because the trend to seek 'iconic' and unique design often exits their realm of affordability (and escapes reason).

Despite this, Korean culture to me is daring and highly experimental. Like the works of Minsuk Cho, the potential for *some* Korean architects is great and truly visionary.

bicta
Los Angeles
Friday, January 22, 2010
With such a traditional and honorific culture, as Korean...its good to see someone looking towards the future with a great respect for the past.
All cultures struggle to hold on to their identity in this global world. The younger generation's need to be engaged more to carry on the traditions and perhaps this building is a step in that direction...?
I cant wait to visit this building. Its very unique and definately inspires a curiousity.

reedpipe
San Francisco
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
I have to agree with moodoo's comment regarding the current state of contemporary architecture in Korea.

I should admit that I'm almost embarrassed by all their "trendy" design.

Yesterday, I watched a few of newly built city hall on Korean news program, and was so sad to see all that junk design filling up the country.

Parallel Universe
Germany
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The idea is indeed refreshing. At least I want to believe it was their idea. But then, I ran into one of Zaha Hadid's old project (Nabern). We all know that nothing is original in architecture, but I still have some uneasiness about this outright similarity. What do you all think?

http://eng.archinform.net/quellen/83554.htm

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