The design of the new Jeju Cultural Heritage Centre started from an attempt to interpret the cultural value of the traditional artifacts that are to be exhibited here with contemporary view. poly.m.ur was intrigued by the fact that these artifacts are exemplary in showing the influence of regional material on the life of early settlers, and they wanted their proposal to be seen as an object which can symbolize the local characteristics shaped by the abundant availability of basalt as raw material and the indigenous techniques of tool making.
While the use of basalt rock imagery of the overall appearance of the building was intended as the simple yet most effective symbolism which can be associated with its specific locality, the ratio and rigor underlying the con-struction of the geometry was metaphorical to the intellects presents in the indigenous culture.
The building sits on a triangular plot, and the overall massing is based on the trigonal pyramid which is formed by 4 equal regular triangles. The entire massing is modular to this trigonal pyramid and therefore can be clad entirely by equal regular triangle pan-els. To introduce flexibility, poly.m.ur designed 5 types of triangular glass-reinforced concrete panels with different sizes of openings, and with combination of rotating possibilities, these panels can create almost infinite number of combinations.
The strategy was to regulate the size and number of openings depending on the lighting and atmospheric requirement of each space and create seamless transition between them. The result is that the entire surface of the building is surrounded by the ever changing pattern of triangular openings which resembles the surface holes in the basalt rocks.
poly.m.ur is an office focused on the research and design of urban conditions and their role in shaping the built environment. Their interest is rooted in the dynamic intersection between mass culture and the built environment. Through rigorous process testing, nurturing and breeding of new ideas for the urban environment, they continuously make the challenge to redefine and reinvent conventions, searching for and working towards a better tomorrow. Architect: poly.m.ur Project Year: 2008 Project Team: Homin Kim, Chris S. Yoo, Hee-Kyung Moon, Kim Architects Project Status: Competition entry, 1st place Location: Jeju, Korea Client: Jeju University Project Area: 38,500SqFt Photography: poly.m.ur