- Architect In Charge: Hyobin Jung
- Design Team: Hyobin Jung
- Client: Mon Amour Company
- City: Asan-si
- Country: South Korea
Complex Cultural Space “Mon Amour” The project begins with the dream of a country girl. The dream of a girl who wants to go back to her hometown someday and create a space of culture and art that gives hope and happiness to people becomes a reality with her husband's help after 40 years. 'Mon Amour' means ‘my love' in French, and it is a gift-like space prepared by a father for an artist wife and two daughters who majored in music. On a flat 15,000m2 site, it was created as a gallery, a complex space for performances and ceremonies, restaurants, and cafes.
Architect's Asks and Architect's Response. The site was originally a farm where pine seedlings were raised. The surroundings were mostly cultivated lands, and the gentle slopes were topped with several motel buildings, and the viewy landscape was only hill ridge. The owner asked for a four-story building that includes programs such as cafes, restaurants, ceremonies and venues, and galleries. The building that meets the requirements was no different from a large motel building, which stands alone on a flat ground. We came up with the idea of Asan's Traditional house with its lake-like local features and granite stone walls. First, a large water space was created and detailed programs composed of single story were scattered all over the land. Also, concrete walls and stone walls were built around, making it difficult for people to turn around. In the first presentation, the owner, who was overwhelmed by the architect's absurd proposal, decided to listen to our thoughts after a few days of thinking.
Architecture and nature. The biggest concern in this project is how architecture can be assimilated with nature. No matter how much we create an organic building, it is only an artificial creation, and it has a much higher probability of imitating nature. We thought that nature and architecture can coexist by more emphasizing the geometric lines of architecture and sharply contrasting with the organic lines of nature. Not the winning of either side but the method of coexistence was chosen. And since there weren't many natural elements that could be brought in from the outside, we chose to create natural elements internally. It allows the viewer to experience the architect's intended landscape, from entry to exit. Thus, the design proceeded by focusing on the emotions and moods that people will experience in each sequence of the entire scenario we have written.
Level changes and boundaries between internal and external. The complex composed of 4 blocks is located on different grounds with a difference of 2.3m each. And to overcome this level difference a 45m long external lamp across the water was created. Viewers perceive the hidden space slowly while experiencing a vertical space through the lamp between the water walls. It is a dramatic experience of recognizing the whole through a change in eye level, from a wall height that exceeds the height of a person to the foot height beyond the wall contained water. In addition, each mass has a space that functions as a lobby and a corridor. The external lobby and the external corridor in the mass are devices that allow the viewer to stay outside while experiencing the architectural program, which is a tool for experiencing the ambiguous boundary between architecture and nature.
Material properties that seek harmony. Most of the materials that make up the blocks are exposed concrete. The reason why the main material was selected as the exposed concrete is to create a natural atmosphere by minimizing the artificial action of attaching the finishing material to the concrete, which is the structure of the building, and to allow the viewer to focus more on the sense of space. And the art gallery, which becomes a symbolic space, uses stainless steel panels because the subtle reflection of the material can reflect the sky, water, and surrounding landscape onto the building, diluting the presence of the geometric mass around. In addition, due to the characteristics of the stainless steel panel, which is difficult to achieve smoothness, a hairline finish had to be applied, but the panel was not boldly treated. This resulted in a bulging appearance that seemed to be incomplete, which was the decision to harmonize with the shape of the organic water at the same time revealing the unfinished building behavior.
Scenarios and sequences. At the same time as the spectator enters, the horizontally elongated concrete wall faces each other. If you enter the space between the walls, you will encounter an open space toward the outside, and when you turn around and enter the building, you will meet a water stream falling through the outside lobby. This water stream provides a hint as well as a question about the water space that will appear soon. If you ticket inside and follow the narrow road surrounded by buildings and concrete walls, you will see the greenery flowing in the front. The gap between the wall and the wall is found to the side of the green space, and when the gap is turned to 135 degrees, you will encounter a ramp made of water flowing down both sides. As you walk up the ramp, you realize that the blocked space, which was seen as a fence, was a vessel containing a huge water space. At the end of the ramp, a 7 m high reflective mass stands, entangling with the sky and water.
The ramp leads to the gap of the mass, and after passing through the gaps, you will encounter a circular water space surrounded by four exhibition halls. At the center of the water space is a sculpture that shows the identity of the entire building. There are four gaps between the four exhibition halls, each of which has an incoming and outgoing path. When you exit the mass through the gaps on the way out, you will face the open space, and there are various landscape spaces and curved trails. As you walk along the promenade, you will encounter a wall of stone finished in rough stone, which is connected to the incoming water path you met before. The place where the whole water space begins is only discovered at the end of the sequence. At the end of the promenade, there is a cafe with a glass finish, and if you go inside the cafe and go to the outdoor deck, you can see all the paths and spaces that have passed. The architectural vocabulary of open and closed spaces, walls and crevices, forms and yards, nature and artifact were used continuously and cross-wise to write down the scenarios the architect intended.