Tomorrow, One Ocean, the stunning solar-powered, naturally ventilated Thematic Pavilion designed by Vienna-based Soma Architecture will open in Yeosu, South Korea. The auditorium hails Yeosu’s redevelopment along its waterfront as this southwestern Korean city of 300,000 hosts EXPO 2012. Designed to keep visitors cool during humid summers, One Ocean is also a nod to biomimicry with its gill-like façade that overlooks the harbor. The soaring glass fiber gills are designed to function like lamellas, the papery ribs under a mushroom’s cap.

Thematic Pavilion, Yeosu, Korea, soma, architecture, biomimicry, EXPO Yeosu, dmp, Jan Cremers, Transsolar, One Ocean

One Ocean pays tribute to both Yeosu’s surrounding nature and the local urban environment. Continuous surfaces meander vertically and horizontally, allowing the outside of the building to contour with Yeosu’s rugged harbor while providing a light and airy interior space. The result is a three dimensional “multi-layered” architectural experience for visitors, reminding them both of the ocean waves on the exterior and then demonstrating how endless and cavernous the sea is once they enter the building.

Working with the German sustainable design firm Transsolar and climate designer Jan Cremers, soma designed the building to maximize natural ventilation. The pavilion’s layout takes advantage of the local prevailing wind direction. Similar in concept to Korean ondol, the traditional home heating system that warms buildings from the floor, cooler air forced out from beneath the building’s floors will keep interior spaces comfortable. And the exterior lamellas, 10 to 43 meters tall, will control the amount of natural light that shines inside the building and in turn their movements during the day will be powered by solar panels located on the roof.

The Thematic Pavilion introduces visitors to EXPO 2012 with three main halls. EXPO attendees will view various multimedia presentations within the pavilion, with the tour ending on the roof, which will showcase gardens featuring local plants and paths that offer views of the EXPO Yeosu grounds. After the EXPO the pavilion will stay open to residents and tourists, standing tall as one of Korea’s most innovative and sustainably designed buildings.

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Via Arch Daily

Photos courtesy soma