Writing is an unending dialogue that has been connecting one generation to another, maintaining history, culture, and information. For the National Museum of World Writing, stories were built rather than written.
Just as writing transcends the author to another realms, SAMOO Architects and Engineers have proposed ‘PAGES’, a structure of architecturally-devised scripts that disconnects visitors from the outer world, and introduces them to an exceptional architectural narration.
The 16,424 sqm proposal for the National Museum of World Writing (NMWW) intends to create a mediation space which links “people to people, people to museum, and museum to the site, just as how writing & pages have bridged together the past, present, and future”.
The project is located in Incheon-si, South Korea, on the edge of a land between the central park and the condensed cityscape. The visual and spatial contradictions between the park’s horizontal landscape and monolithic verticality of buildings inspired the architects to develop a structure that merges both characteristics together.
The structure’s curved form was inspired by the observation of everything surrounding the site. Pedestrian roads, bike lanes, and trails intersect and disperse in and out of the park and buildings, flowing rhythmically like hieroglyphics. Similarly, trails will be flowing in and out of the NMWW, erasing the boundaries between structure and landscape, and forming flexible spaces where visitors can circulate freely in and out.
Upon entering the museum, the visitor finds himself/herself standing in a grand hall deep within the museum’s curved walls, as though he/she has physically entered the journey of writing. Along the curved walls of the indoor exhibition space, sequential scenarios are printed, each with its own narrative.
The intention behind the design is to trigger active communication between the articles of the exhibition and visitors,offering an interactive and personal experience rather than a traditional method of observation.
Rectangular-shaped administrative programs encase main areas around the structure, contradicting the curvilinear shape of exhibition spaces. The Multipurpose Hall is located between lobby and exhibition area as a transitional zone, where lectures and performances take place. The Educational Area, although separated from the exhibition’s main circulation, can be easily accessed to offer various educational programs. The loading deck area is separated from public parking lot near a special exhibition space, to ensure short and efficient service circulation.
The ‘Larchvium’ (Library + Archive + Museum) appears where the library and storage area overlap.The architects opened up the ceiling of the storage area, enabling visual connection to the exhibition space above, and together with the library, the whole space becomes a new interactive exhibition.
The National Museum of World Writing proposal won the 2018 IDA Design Awards Silver Prize in Architecture, under the category of ‘Conceptual Designs’.