Kyu Sung Woo: Asian Culture Complex


Cambridge, MA, based Kyu Sung Woo Architects is currently working on an “Asian Culture Complex” in downtown Gwangju, South Korea – an area associated with the nation’s historic pro-democracy rallies. KSW attempts to create a complex that will serve as “a living commemoration celebrating the egalitarian, progressive nature of architecture and the performing and visual arts”. The design looks to exploit natural lighting in all of the different cultural spaces created – emphasizing a connection to the large park space being created, and to the broader concept of ‘nature’ as a whole.


The complex is intended to serve as a central green space for the city, creating a 1.4 million square foot public landscape. From this space, KSW is carving-out the cultural facilities – creating below-grade performance, educational, and exhibition spaces that feel embedded and interwoven into the landscape. The interior spaces become grassy open spaces in the landscape, complete with bamboo groves, playgrounds for children, and large public lawns.


Envisioned as a physical world and a broader virtual world for cultural participation, cultivation, and creation, the Complex incorporates a decentralized Children’s Museum and several venues, including a digital M&E lab and a resource Complex, to foster the development of cultural content and activities. A high tech infrastructure incorporates rapidly advancing information, digital and nano technologies, wireless computing, media, dialogue, and interaction between new technologies, affording countless opportunities for creating and producing cultural offerings of every kind. As programs grow, change in character, or are replaced, the Complex’s spatial boundaries and characteristics can be adjusted to meet specific needs, evolving technologies, and an unknown future.


Extensive use of skylights and clerestory will allow for visual connections between the park space and the interior of the cultural complex – as well as bringing an abundance of natural light to these spaces, as previously mentioned. Along with these skylights / clerestories, the facilities appear to open out on to the hardscape open spaces that KSW is carving out of the landscape – creating the more plaza-like, urban spaces below grade.


Reminds me of the Woman’s University project by Dominique Perrault, and Keyaki Plaza.

::all images and info courtesy of Kyu Sung Woo Architects::

Posted: March 10th, 2009
at 11:51am by orangemenace

Categories: architecture,green arch,urban/master planning,landscape

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