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.
“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”
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.
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.
“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