Seoul National University Museum


Philippe Ruault

The design for the Seoul National University Museum is driven by the relationship of the campus to the community, serving as a link between them.

Af Kirsten Kiser

This linkage is the defining operation behind the project’s morphology; this operation is a slice through the maximum building envelope, which establishes a pedestrian connection between the community and the campus.

The hovering mass generated by this slice — a cantilevered structural steel shell bearing on a concrete core — is modulated by the circulation path and site topography.

Circulation through the building is a continuation of the defining slice; internally the path bifurcates and spirals inward. As one enters the building, the circulation affords connections to the different programs.

There are four basic program areas: Exhibition, Educational, Library, and Operations. The educational spaces, the lecture hall, and auditorium all benefit from the slope formed by the slice, which accommodates ramped seating in these spaces.

The library inhabits the center and structural core of the building. Peripheral and central circulation paths create two spiraling loops that allow programmatic continuity in the building.

The exhibition space at the top is designed for expansion, by allowing its invasion of the educational spaces. This invasion and resultant multi-use of the educational spaces for exhibition purposes is articulated both by the ramped circulation path and contrasting materiality.

The monolithic volume is strategically punctuated with an eye to specific site views, consequently exposing moments of its structural framework. The building is further defined by a selection of finishes and materials, which articulate its compositional elements and functional requirements.

Country and City