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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Museum
  4. South Korea
  5. Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados
  6. 2009
  7. Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim

  • 01:00 - 23 September, 2010
Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim
Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim, © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG +38

  • Architects

  • Location

    Paju Book City, Republic of Korea
  • Architects

    Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim
  • Project Coordinator

    Dalila Gomes
  • Collaborators

    Chungheon Han, João Figueiredo
  • Structure

    Gayoon ENC
  • Mechanical Installations

    Hansan Engineering Co.
  • Construction Coordinator

    Young-il Park
  • Client

    Open Books Publishing Co.
  • Electricity

    Jung-Myoung Engeneering Group Co.
  • Construction Company

    Hanool Construction Co.
  • Project Year

    2009
  • Photographs

From the architect. A cat has become a museum.

There once was a chinese emperor who liked cats a lot, and one day he called upon the most famous painter in the Empire and asked him to paint him a cat. The artist liked the idea and promised that he would work on it. A year passed and the Emperor remembered that the painter still had not given him the painting of the cat. He called him: What of the cat? It is nearly ready, answered the artist. Another year went by, and another and another. The scene kept repeating itself. After seven years, the Emperor’s patience came to an end and he sent for the painter. What of the cat? Seven years have gone by. You have promised and promised but I still haven’t seen one! The painter grabs a sheet of rice paper, an ink well, one of those brushes like you can only get in the East and… in an elegant and sublime gesture he draws a cat, which was not just a cat but only the most beautiful cat ever seen. The Emperor was ecstatic, overwhelmed with such beauty. He did not neglect (which is no longer the case nowadays) to ask the artist how much he would charge for such beautiful drawing. The painter asked for a sum which surprised the Emperor. So much money for a drawing that you did in two seconds, in front of me? said the Emperor. Yes Excellency, that is true, but I have been drawing cats for seven years now, replied the poor painter.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The project for the Museum Mimesis, in the new town of Paju Book City in South Korea, is a cat. The client didn’t have to wait for seven years for his drawing of a cat, but Álvaro Siza has been drawing cats for over seven years now. He has never seen a Korean cat, because he has never been there.

In one day I briefed him on the site, and brought along a small site model, showing the boundaries and the immediate context. In one single gesture, a cat was drawn. The Mimesis is a cat. A cat, all curled up and also open, that stretches and yawns. It’s all there. All you need to do is look and look again. At first the design team members could not understand how that sketch of a cat could be a building. I have in my days seen many sketches of cats, and am always overwhelmed by them, can’t get tired of them. I want to see more cats, more sketches of cats, for several seven years have gone by.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

In architecture, after an initial sketch comes the torment. The initial design, models, drawings, corrections to these, doubts, new drawings, new models, a presentation to the client, who had already seen other projects but could not conceal his surprise at this one. Once approved, we progressed the project on through the usual steps, which in Korea are shorter and less bureaucratic.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The brief has not been altered, but it is necessary to make some adjustments as part of the evolution process. To think of materials, techniques, infra-structure, representational conventions, so that everyone understands, in an attempt to make everything work out. In the basement we will have the archives, the service area, maybe an extension to the exhibition area, as is becoming a habit in museums designed by Álvaro Siza. The ground floor is a space for arrival and distribution, areas for temporary exhibitions and a café/restaurant with all necessary back up. Administration areas, staff circulation, area for the administrative archive and staff toilets are located in the mezzanines. The top floor is for exhibition space.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Light, always light, so carefully studied. Both natural and artificial is seen as essential. Allowing to see without being seen. Models and more models were constructed, some of which you could enter into. Also 3D images. Form will be given by cast concrete, light grey, the colour of a cat. Inside, the white of the walls and ceilings, of the marble, which we hope will be from Estremoz and also the honey colour of Oak. Timber for the internal frames, and glass. As for the external windows, timber, painted steel and crystalline glass.

© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG
© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

The building progresses, so do we, as it is in Korea. It is a technically difficult job; we were concerned at the quality of the contractor and sub-contractors involved. Our friends and partners are enthusiastic and reassure us.

To draw a cat is really difficult, try it! It can take seven years! At least!

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim" 23 Sep 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed . <http://www.archdaily.com/78936/mimesis-museum-alvaro-siza-castanheira-bastai-arquitectos-associados-jun-sung-kim/>
Read comments

52 Comments

Rosangela B. · April 23, 2013

qual a metragem do terreno do museu mimesis?

arkias arquitectura · May 31, 2011

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza | ArchDaily http://t.co/wHuYXHE #arquitectura

hye young · March 28, 2011

there my vilige :-)
that is very huge
but If you see go there, You may disappoint

?bot · January 06, 2011

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim??http://bit.ly/gpKQxw

??? · October 26, 2010

RT @fujikawayukako: ????????????
http://www.archdaily.com/78936... ...

??? · October 26, 2010
farimah farahani · October 15, 2010

whats the plan and sections scale?

Matthew, J. PARK · October 05, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza+Castanheira&Bastai Arquitectos Associados+??? http://bit.ly/ducvgn ????? ?? ???? ?? ? ???? #??_ #????_ #????_

Gergely Szabó · September 30, 2010

Mimesis Museum http://is.gd/fAK9j

John · September 26, 2010

Siza is not just a big architect .... He is The Architect!!!

Adrian · September 25, 2010

MAESTRO!

Ki-Seok, JanG · September 25, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim | ArchDaily http://t.co/YdBjuZF via @archdaily

zzzzz · September 24, 2010

rsantosfernandes, wow, you have hero worship so bad. That kind of unconditional hero worship isn't really healthy. I think some people call it fundamentalism. I also wonder if public architecture (which in this case is supposed to be a public building) should be something that can be engaged democratically rather then just being the expression of someone's personal "inspiration"? Pushing this kind of psuedo magic is unhealthy for architecture, it makes us look like autistic naval gazers.

????(Archi-Critic) · September 24, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim | ArchDaily http://t.co/Mk9kuaD via @archdaily

chong, hyonsu · September 24, 2010

wanna go to there

Amit K. · September 24, 2010

I am a great fan of the master architect..

Though I will differ on this project... not the same magic I expect from him... Looks like too many ppl had a say in the final outcome.. Flooring choices and their joints are especially an eyesore..

DESIGN*aRt::archive · September 24, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #archi ...

Glauco Tonon · September 24, 2010

belo museu Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira &Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://is.gd/fpPbQ

up_today_arch · September 24, 2010

Fortunatelly, not so "Luna park", as Z.H. Real mastership means real teast...

rsantosfernandes · September 24, 2010

Cats!!!
Inspiration ... inspiration from Siza comes from a life-long experiences in a simple way of life, trips where all the architects should have gone (but never remembered), endless drawings about every things (that nobody would have draw)and sometimes enjoying cigars and whiskey in some cafes in Porto...
sometimes his inspiration comes from a tree across the street that nobody noticed ...
His inspiration comes from where he wants!
... And the inspiration should be so ...

Wilfredo Mena, MArch · September 24, 2010

Flexible Concrete? #Museum in Republic of #Korea http://bit.ly/ducvgn #Architecture #Arquitectura

Hashzeta · September 24, 2010

#z: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung… http://goo.gl/fb/CR6v3

zzzz · September 24, 2010

Cats? Come on, that project explanation is just pathetically patronizing. Maybe it is or maybe it isn't a nice looking project but that kind of discourse is barf-worthy.

takafumii · September 24, 2010
Rodrigo · September 24, 2010

Siza = Port Wine

VeroRamirezAlegre · September 23, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #archi ...

AIA Jacksonville · September 23, 2010

RT @archdaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #architecture

Chris · September 23, 2010

I know the popular concept of architecture now adheres to the vision of a collaborative effort between architects, clients, and other specialists, but it's nice to know that eureka moments are still happening for solitary architects, and that a well practiced master can design something significant on his own and in a fairly short period of time.

Or the text is misleading and a whole team was actually involved, who can say? There are three architectural firms listed..

Bono · September 23, 2010 11:09 PM

Siza

Antonio Palomares · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim | ArchDaily http://t.co/OAED8vV vía @archdaily

koji_takahashi · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim | ArchDaily http://t.co/KP9WuUx via @archdaily

DEZIGN · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim: © FG+SG – Fernando Guer... http://bit.ly/9LjgLa

Paula Lopes · September 23, 2010

Museu do Siza na Coréia: http://t.co/2XcSimK via @archdaily

Cauê Costa · September 23, 2010

SIZA ISSO É AUTOPLAGIO NAO VALE RT: @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #architecture

tomas faria · September 23, 2010

Si,maestro de los maestros.

A · September 23, 2010

interesting , i would really like to see the initial sketches.

Pedro T · September 23, 2010

Just suberb.

watabetakahiro · September 23, 2010
Santiago V · September 23, 2010

Maestro de los maestros

Architecture+Molding · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim: Architects: Alvaro Siza... http://bit.ly/9DMmR1

RdM arquitectura · September 23, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #archi ...

Scott @ Cube Studio · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos ...: Architects: Alvaro Siza + ... http://bit.ly/ayEYrD http://www.cubestudio.info

Architekt R V Scholz · September 23, 2010

#Architekt #Calau Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados +... http://bit.ly/9XL74C #in http://dy.cx/c03

arin.? · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim | ArchDaily http://www.archdaily.com/?p=78...

Barry Maguire · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim via ArchDaily http://tinyurl.com/388ckjo

Hemant negi · September 23, 2010
Hemant negi · September 23, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #archi ...

Chiel Knigge · September 23, 2010

This is #architecture: Mimesis Museum designed by Siza, Castanheira & Bastai and Jun Sung Kim. http://archdai.ly/9opBrY via @ArchDaily

Bulduri Ultra · September 23, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #archi ...

Ujenzi Bora · September 23, 2010

RT @ArchDaily: Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim http://archdai.ly/9opBrY #architect

Bocetos Digitales · September 23, 2010

Mimesis Museum / Alvaro Siza + Castanheira & Bastai Arquitectos Associados + Jun Sung Kim: © FG+SG – Fernando Guer... http://bit.ly/9DMmR1

Wohnung Löbau · September 23, 2010

Wonderful !

Mic · September 23, 2010

A very poetic AD entry. Very Siza

However I would love to see more information about the conception of the building - the inspirations and ideas behind its form and spaces within. Would love to know more

···

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© Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Mimesis Museum