Korea Center / SAMOO

SAMOO Architecture, the studio of Architects and Engineers based in Seoul, Korea, was awarded first prize in an international competition for the design of The Korea Center.  Set to begin construction at the end of this year, the 8 story, 33,000 square foot facility will provide space for exhibitions, performances, lectures, and administration. The design is said to “embody the modern Korean sensibility of innovation in harmony with tradition.”

More images and more about the design after the break.

Housed within the central space, three sculptural figures composed of different materials – polished ceramic for Heaven, rough terracotta for Earth, and milled wood for Humanity – are illuminated by the multi-layered glass façade.

An open frame directly behind the glass will provide a canvas for display panels that convey a changing visual message to the passers-by.

“The transparency of the façade opens the buildings activities to street life and energizes the surrounding area,” said Mr. Soon Woo Kwon Principal at SAMOO Architecture PC.

As seen on Bustler

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "Korea Center / SAMOO" 16 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Sep 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=46368>


  1. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    No offence but for me this symbolic issues seem to be naive. Earth heaven and humanity? There is only Captain Planet and Care Bears missing…

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      天(heaven),地(earth),人(humanity) are basic element of oriental(especilally Far East) philosophy.
      If you say that, you must don’t have any knowledgy or insufficient explanation of them.
      But I wish you don’t disregard or ridicule again other regien’s ideal.

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        Then what is the unique relationship between Korean culture and 天(heaven),地(earth),人(humanity)? Are they saying 天(heaven),地(earth),人(humanity) represent Korean Culture???

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      another good example of korean pizza architecture..if you ever had korean pizza, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

  2. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I like how the architect assumes that a glass facade “activates street life”. How amateurish.

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      I just love how these “internet architects” are so judgmental.

      I mean, if you really have a problem about it, talk to the committee who made the decision and call THEM amateurs.

      This building isn’t my cup of tea either, but hey, the firm won the competition, I give them props.

  3. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    I know some cultures use the sky-earth-human theory to understand the universe. Then why did they use this theory to represent Korean culture?

  4. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    I am not familiar with Korean custom and culture, art and architecture. As a Chinese from Asian, who also learn Chinese language and literature, i understand that humanity, heaven and earth are the important elements in oriental philosophy!I don’t judge the aesthetic of the proposal.But the understanding of these 3 elements here is so mundane!3 elements simply represented by 3 common materials that can simply be found in many office building (from big airport to small toilet)?3 elements are almost identical in form and scale(I thought humanity shouldn’t have the same scale with heaven)? 3 elements are bordered by glassy box (I don’t understand the language here)?

  5. Thumb up Thumb down +1

    대한민국 건축설계망치는 삼우

    이것도 삼우가 딸것이라는 소문이 처음부터 자자했음

    아뭏튼 삼우 때문에 대한민국 설계사무실 망한다

  6. Thumb up Thumb down 0

    i dont know about the concept 天,地,人, but i love the wrapping and twisting form. i feel korean from it somehow.

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