14.7.2011

Rodin Museum in Seoul, Korea

Situado en la base de la Gran Puerta del Sur a lo largo de TaePyong-Ro, el eje histórico de Seúl, el Museo Rodin es parte de un amplio conjunto de intervenciones de vidrio y acero diseñadas para crear una nueva identidad para la empresa Samsung, unificar tres de sus edificios existentes, y proporcionar una activa plaza pública y una galería comercial. Contextualmente, el museo termina con una nueva columnata cubierta que entrelaza los tres sitios con el propio museo como un pequeño pabellón de cristal luminoso, desarrollada a partir de la instalación de dos famosas esculturas de Auguste Rodin.

Situated at the base of the Great South Gate along TaePyong-Ro, Seoul’s historic axis, the Rodin Museum is part of a larger assemblage of glass and steel interventions that were designed to create a new identity for Samsung, unify three of their existing buildings, and provide an active public retail arcade and plaza. Contextually, the museum terminates a new colonnade and canopy that weave together across all three sites with the museum itself as a small, luminous glass pavilion that evolved from the placement of two famous works of sculpture by Auguste Rodin, “The Burgers of Calais” and “The Gates of Hell”.

Glass, as a material, became the dominant one in a series of architectural elements used to reinforce a visual connection and unity among the existing buildings and to define the plazas that serve as the “connectors” themselves, providing access to the adjacent Museum Shop and retail spaces. Curved glass walls of varying degrees of transparency are employed throughout the project and are ultimately embodied in the Rodin Pavilion.

As the architecture of the three existing Samsung buildings was so disparate, the primary design solution was to connect the Headquarters Building, the Insurance Building and the Industry Building to each other and the city by unifying all three with a new retail base. This base creates a physical and visual identity as well as an architectural order to the complex. Creating a strong urban edge along TaePyong-Ro, the assemblage of glass structures creates a series of experiential spaces that have a material and formal commonality that recall each other.

The goal for the Headquarters building renovation was to create a new entry and street experience while maintaining a dignified presence which reflects the importance of this building as the face of Samsung. To accomplish this, an existing massive stone colonnade was replaced with a curved glass and steel façade in front of which stand a series of free standing stainless steel columns with glass fins. The columns recall the monumentality of the original building while reinforcing the street edge and the connection among the other buildings. A new, spacious, and light-filled interior lobby of limestone, stainless steel and translucent glass complete the composition.

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The new office lobbies on the ground and second floors of the Insurance Building were made brighter with a palette of materials similar to that of the Headquarters Building. A major renovation of the ground floor lobby and the introduction of an expanded atrium allowed for natural light to enhance the below grade retail areas.

At the opposite end of the project and adjacent to a park, the Industry Building is defined by a curving glass screen, another version of the reoccurring unifying elements. A display system and stainless steel and glass vitrines are incorporated into the design of this wall, signifying another entry to the retail concourse below.

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