National Museum of Korean Contemporary History / JUNGLIM Architecture

  • 29 Jun 2013
  • Museums and Libraries Selected Works
© Namgoong Sun

Architects: JUNGLIM Architecture
Location: Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
Client: Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
Area: 6,444.7 sqm
Photographs: Namgoong Sun

© Namgoong Sun

Three issues; National Museum of Korean Contemporary History has three crucial design issues. First issue is remodelling the old building that has been used since 1950. It is to recollect and retain the 50 years of Korean modern history in Gwanghwa gate circus.

© Namgoong Sun

Secondly, it has got symbolical representation as the site is located in Korean symbolic central axis 1. The axis starts from Gyeongbok Palace of Joseon to Nam Mountain to Han River. The issue was raised how to begin and what to contain at the starting point of symbolic axis.

© Namgoong Sun

Lastly, it has a role of informing the Korean modern history. Although the period of history is 50 to 60 years, there have been many remarkable events and historical moments to remember and this museum should stand as a role example to demonstrate the history of Korea.

First Floor Plan

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "National Museum of Korean Contemporary History / JUNGLIM Architecture" 29 Jun 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 03 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=393920>

4 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +4

    Another architectural missed opportunity from a country with money but no taste and a lot of wasted talent.
    Korean contemporary history; the site next to Gyeongbukgung and Gwanghwamun and the citizens of Seoul deserve better than that.

    Architecture schools should use this joke, together with the new city hall and the nearby Kimusa museum as examples of what should never happen.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    @Ordia Fine
    I think there were many restrictions in design as it was a renovation project, not a project from the scratch. Although I’d also say that I do not love it so much, but it is not the worst of the worst considering it is keeping the existing structure and perimeter.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    Ordia Fine-

    As someone who practices and teaches in Seoul after having practiced for some of the better known architects in Boston and Manhattan, I strongly feel that your dismissal of the project is misplaced. As a renovation project and the given constraints (both financial and programmatic), I think that the architects did an excellent job. Certainly, to equate this project to the catastrophic failure of the nearby Seoul City Hall by SAMOO and iARC architects is being simplistic with your observations. Additionally, the nearby “Kimusa museum” project as you call it or the more aptly titled National Modern Museum of Art Annex is also uncalled for as that project is turning out to be a very well done project balancing a restrained architectural vocabulary with a very intricate urban setting.

    Yes, there does indeed seem to be capital in Korea for architecture, certainly a great deal more than what I see traveling around western cities like Paris, New York and San Francisco. Certainly as one looks around this city, there are more and more surprisingly good architecture. Korea has taste. It has its own taste. Much like Hallyu in Cinema or PSY in music, architecture in Korea is emerging in a surprising way with a great deal of searching and energy.

    Now that more and more of the significant work is being handed to the local talent, there seems to be a growing emergence of a local modern vernacular that did not exist with the previous generation of work by foreign “ABC” architects (SOM, KPF, KMDs of the world) who produced banal and scaleless corporate architecture.

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    @Ordia Fine-

    As someone who practices and teaches in Seoul after having practiced for some of the better known architects in Boston and Manhattan, I strongly feel that your dismissal of the project is misplaced. As a renovation project and the given constraints (both financial and programmatic), I think that the architects did an excellent job. Certainly, to equate this project to the catastrophic failure of the nearby Seoul City Hall by SAMOO and iARC architects is being simplistic with your observations. Additionally, the nearby “Kimusa museum” project as you call it or the more aptly titled National Modern Museum of Art Annex is also uncalled for as that project is turning out to be a very well done project balancing a restrained architectural vocabulary with a very intricate urban setting.

    Yes, there does indeed seem to be capital in Korea for architecture, certainly a great deal more than what I see traveling around western cities like Paris, New York and San Francisco. Certainly as one looks around this city, there are more and more surprisingly good architecture. Korea has taste. It has its own taste. Much like Hallyu in Cinema or PSY in music, architecture in Korea is emerging in a surprising way with a great deal of searching and energy.

    Now that more and more of the significant work is being handed to the local talent, there seems to be a growing emergence of a local modern vernacular that did not exist with the previous generation of work by foreign “ABC” architects (SOM, KPF, KMDs of the world) who produced banal and scaleless corporate architecture.

Share your thoughts