Located in Buk-Chon, a quiet and traditional district of Seoul, Songwon Art Centre, designed by the South Korean studio Mass Studies, is a building entirely made of solid strips of steel. It spreads over two levels and it occupies also the basement area (three levels below the ground). “This composition allows the building to be seen as performing a ‘silent acrobatic act,’ slightly floating above ground while still staying close to it.” The building was adapted to the inclining site. Its irregular shape was determined by the shape of the plot, which also determined the building plan. Adopting a contemporary look, the art centre stands out, unveiling a different and a more updated side of South Korean.
The exhibition levels are located underground, allowing the curators to adjust the atmosphere and adapting the artificial lights to each exhibition’s particularity. The upper floors have social functions: there’s a parking area, a restaurant and a gathering place. The art centre is envisioned as a place that doesn’t “suffocate” the visitor but relaxes him. The impeccable interior (polished concrete floors and white walls) showcases a strange mix of shapes and lines. Perceived as a big monolithic structure, Songwon Art Centre “gives an illusion of being casted in a single piece, rather than being an assembly of several smaller pieces.”