Proposal for the National Museum of World Writing, Songdo, South Korea, 2017

Team: Andrew Kovacs, Israel Ceja, Erin Wright

Project Description:

This proposal for the National Museum of World Writing calls for 4 generic buildings to be assembled into 1 unique building that is anchored around a large public covered courtyard.  The public covered courtyard is a destination and the focal point of the National Museum of World Writing. In this large public covered courtyard is where both users and visitors may rendezvous and mingle. The surface of the covered courtyard contains public activities such as a sunken auditorium, a blue rectangular multipurpose room and a cafeteria that is a dome.

Programmatically and organizationally, the 4 generic buildings anchored around the courtyard are as follows:

1) The Permanent Gallery Volume is organized with a number of terraced floor plates. These terraced floor plates are positioned such that they create views between each other as well as generating spaces that are single height, double height, and triple height to allow for curatorial flexibility.

2) The Office Bar is two floors and arranged in a long and linear manner.  Office administration, employee lockers, and the employee lounge are all placed in an open layout on the 2nd level.  Research rooms, research storage, administration storage and the conference room are enclosed and placed on the 3rd level of The Office Bar to allow for privacy and security.

3) The Education Box contains the library and computer area in an open layout on the second floor.  Floating above, on the third floor of the Education Box is the location of the lecture room.

4) The Special Exhibition Ramp is sandwiched between The Education Box and The Permanent Gallery Volume creating access and a link between the two. The ramp begins at the ground level and ascends to the roof of the building - allowing users to meander, while viewing the special exhibition display with additional views into the covered courtyard and the
other 3 unique buildings.

In plan, the moment where each of the 4 generic buildings becomes contiguous to the next is celebrated,becoming the position of the cores(elevators, bathrooms, fire stairs,mechanical, storage) creating dedicated and localized circulation for each of the 4 generic buildings.

Each of the elevations of the proposed National Museum of World Writing amplifies the concept that 4 generic buildings make 1 unique building.

In elevation, this amplification is highlighted, yet again, when each of the 4 generic buildings become contiguous with each other. The result is an architecture that is different on every side through the use of color, materiality, different rhythms of architectural elements, spacing of mullions, sizes of apertures, degrees of transparency and translucency and how each of the generic buildings meets the ground. All 4 generic buildings that make 1 unique building are aligned at the roof plane, generating a new ground above the park. Functioning as a roof terrace for the users and the citizens of Korea it contains small follies, kiosks and furniture that allow for leisure activities while creating views into the covered courtyard below and the park beyond.

The park is conceived as a freely and loosely scattered landscape of conceptual dust particles. Each one of these particles is devoted to activities of the public and leisure.  They include such elements as seating areas, walking and biking paths, flower gardens, tree forests, cherry blossom groves, sculptures, birdhouses, cafes, lounging areas, water features, fish ponds, grassy mounds, paving,restrooms, selfie stations, etc. The smallness of the size of each of these particles creates a diverse park landscape of activities and in turn reinforces the monumentality and presence of the proposed architecture of the National Museum of World Writing.