We first covered the ecorium located in Seocheon-gun, Korea back in 2010; it was revealed as the competition winner for a park that would create a hub for ecologically focused study and outreach, and now that it's finished, we can oogle the final product. Designed by Samoo Architects and Engineers with Grimshaw Architects, this project is part of the government funded Ecoplex, which houses the National Ecological Institute. The primary goal of the Ecoplex is to preserve the natural environment through public education while facilitating the advancement of restoration ecology as well as housing ecological artifacts for research or display.
The wedge-shaped glass enclosures are greenhouses that will each be a controlled environment home to different climate zones from tropical to polar. There are five total climates represented including Korea’s own temperate zone, which utilizes access to outdoors. The greenhouses flow along an organic, meandering path so as not to shade one another. As visitors walk along the green connector, they can, within minutes, peer into different corners of the globe.
A building dedicated to safeguarding the environment, it has various featuresthat reduce its footprint. Natural ventilation is used where possible based on program type or climate zone and the sloped curtain walls gather rainwater for irrigation. Most impressively, this project is, according to a restoration ecologist from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, “the newest and most ambitious innovative, and exciting ecological restoration center ever attempted…”
Photos by Young Chae Park