Korean Museum of Urbanism and Architecture
Client: The National Agency for Administrative City Construction
Year: 2020 Competition Winner
Budget: KRW 46.9 billion
Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Maider Llaguno Munitxa, Ivaylo Nachev, Carlota Mendez, Claudia Baquedano, Claudia Zucca
A Scaffolding for Fragments, Urban Mining, Hanok Eaves and Celebrating the Modern Korean Development Age
Our proposal for the Korean Museum of Architecture and Urbanism is aimed to become both an ecological and a cultural experiment in response to the current environmental challenges.
While cities in South Korea account for over 70% of carbon emissions and energy consumption, urbanization has been a major drive of wealth creation and social mobility in Korea since the 1950s. Dozens of road overpasses were built in the large Korean cities in this drive to modernize the country, and became a symbol of urban modernization. Most of them are being dismantled now as the are the cause of traffic congestion. This will involve both a huge amount of construction waste but also the disappearance of the symbols of the golden era of urban development in Korea.
Our proposal is to reuse some of the steel girders of these elevated roads, to build the KMUA as an oversized scaffolding to hold real fragments of architecture, while paying tribute to an age which saw a failed national economy transformed into one of the world’s thriving economies through a process of urban development This strategy is seeking four simultaneous effects:
1.Preserve resources, reduce embodied energy, carbon emissions, construction waste and pollution.
2.Create an architecture that resonates with the Korean traditional Hanok roofs. The assembly of the infrastructural sections by simple piling will produce stepped cantilevers resonant with those that can be found in the eaves of traditional roofs.
3.Turn the KMUA into a memorial to the Korean modern development phase in the 1960s and 1970s.
4.Explore the creation of unprecedented possibilities for architectural curation, unique and specific to an architectural museum. An Architecture Museum is not an Art Museum and the building will allow the display of full-scale architectural fragments. The building a lesson in architectural construction in itself, and the façade will become a repository display of full scale architectural specimens and mockups.
The KMUA building itself will be a collection of full-scale pieces of architecture and will remain always under construction.