Kengo Kuma Associates reveal design for 'bucolic' Busan art museum

The architecture studio of Kengo Kuma have won another major cultural project, this time for an art museum in Busan, South Korea’s second-largest city.

Planned for one of the small villages in Gijang county, the 3,500sq m (37,600sq ft) complex will, according to the practice, provide “a contrast between the extra-contemporary aspects of such a museum and the bucolic character of this site.”

This approach – which will see the mass of the building broken into small volumes, each similar in scaler to the surrounding houses and farm sheds and built using natural stone – has been chosen to provide a contrast to the rapid urbanisation that has taken place in Busan.

“Areas, which until recently were serene farmlands and quiet fishing villages, are now occupied by massive condominiums, resorts, department stores and the subsequent highways and bridges,” said Kengo Kuma Associates in a statement. “We wanted to clearly oppose the overwhelming new developments which erode the charm of the region.

“We hope in this way that the village can remain a village; that it can be a peaceful place with an exciting museum to discover, rather than a self-imposed museum, bothered by few nearby humble houses waiting to disappear.”

To minimise its impact on the landscape, the Gijang Art Museum has been designed to avoid the direct presence of architectural elements such as doors, windows and eaves. Instead, these will be subtly incorporated so the exteriors “appear as a fragment of the traditional walls around this beautiful site.”

The museum will showcase the works of South Korean artists Nam June Paik and Chong Hak Kim. It will also feature an art shop and food and beverage amenities.

Kengo Kuma Associates are currently working on a number of museums around the world, including a fairytale-themed museum dedicated to the life and work of author Hans Christian Andersen in Odense, a contemporary art museum in Turkey, the V&A Dundee design museum in Scotland, and the Museum of Indigenous Knowledge in the Philippines.

Kengo Kuma Associates  Busan  South Korea  Gijang Art Museum 
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