Gallery: ACME United Nations Memorial Space Inspired by Cells

UN Memorial, UN, chungju, south korea, cells, cellular, green roof, natural daylight, daylighting

A recent competition earlier in 2009 held by the city of Chungju in South Korea made a call for a memorial space in the city’s United Nations Peace Park. Coming in at 3rd place was London-based firm ACME with their dramatic hive-like design. Drawing from the very core of what the United Nations is, this building is comprised of individual cells combined together to form a cube structure, mirroring how the UN is made up of individual countries who come together to form one entity. ACME’s proposal also includes an idyllic green roof and plenty of natural daylight.

The structure is built from hexagonal cells on the exterior as well as throughout the interior. Built as a metaphor for how the UN operates and functions, this memorial space is meant to “represent the nature of the organization, where many different nations come together to create one entity, but without losing their
individual identities.” Inside there are two conference halls, a theater, an exhibition space and an assembly hall for 1,500 people. The cellular design will also serve as a multi-function meeting space and house offices, restaurants, meeting and educational space as well as public viewing platforms.

An open staircase winds up the exterior of the building and leads all the way up to the roof, where a public garden and green roof await. Rooms, meeting space and public areas are all well lit by natural daylight.  We’re quite taken with this design proposal and considering it received 3rd place, we’d love to know what the first and second place designs were.


Via Designboom


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  1. Megumi October 11, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    The Outdoor axis[rendered in yellow] that breaks the solidity of the facade is really what makes the building different from existing ones. There are plenty of buildings with nice concepts or beehive-like structures, but what is outstanding about this building is the integration of indoor and outdoor, playing with the intrusion or extrusion of each module, and the smart diagonal axis of outdoor space on the facade that invites the viewer to the building.

  2. antispry October 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    Where can the first and second place designs be viewed?

  3. snicholas5 October 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm

    Nice looking building, I enjoy the reference to creating the building similar to how the UN operates and functions, nice metaphor. Hope the building turns out how it is planned. The open stairway and roof could cause problems but hopefully not. Environmentally friendly building it also probably makes for interesting social interaction.

  4. snicholas5 October 14, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    Unbelievable looking.
    Interesting concept on the relation to how the UN operates and functions.
    Hopefully the open staircase and open rooftop don’t cause problems.
    Very aesthetically pleasing.

  5. mlntr October 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

    not even, just hexagons–two, maybe three angles–pretty certain this was all hand-CAD. Looks like a bad riff on HdeM’s “zen space” but ambiguous about whether it wants to be a cladding/facade system or a volumetric (cellular) system.

  6. stlbarcelona5 October 13, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    Inspired by cells? Gimme a break. They’ve finally discovered a voronoi script and ran wild with it.

  7. im October 13, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    It is indeed a nice idea of aggregation of spaces growing from the central void. The transitions inside the building look pretty amazing. I would like to stay in that public area in the middle looking to the top. Cool project!

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