The Kukje Art Center in Seoul, South Korea is the latest awe-inspiring creating by New York-based SO-IL. The gallery is a concrete cube situated in the historic urban fabric of Sogyeok-dong, which is being populated by a series of low-rise boutique retail outlets and coffee shops. The structure is wrapped in a funky mesh armor that diffuses sunlight and softens the building's edges. Designed by Front Inc and prefabricated in China, the unique facade ensures the gallery sits in harmony with the neighborhood's character.
Comprised of thousands of small steel rings that together form a pliable envelope, the mesh facade wraps easily around the building, giving it an almost ethereal disguise that is altogether more interesting than concrete. But it also creates interesting shadow and diffuses excess solar gain. A massive space, the art center would exact a high energy load if it weren’t for certain interventions.
Given space restraints, SO-IL buried two of the gallery’s three levels underground and installed perimeter skylights that permit daylighting to penetrate deep into the interior, beyond the street level gallery, to cut down on energy requirements. And finally, circulation is kept to the edge of the building to maintain the clear span art space’s distinct geometry.
Via Fastco Design
all images via Iwan Baan