Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd.
4056 Basel, Switzerland
SEOUL, KOREA, 06 July 2021 – ST International HQ and SongEun Art Space, Herzog & de Meuron’s first realized project in Korea, is nearing completion and is set to open in September 2021. Located within the heart of Cheongdam Dong, the project will offer non-commercial art spaces within one of the most commercial areas of Seoul. In addition to providing SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation with a variety of new exhibition spaces, the building will house offices for ST International.
A sharp triangular volume distinguishes the architectural project; a tall front façade faces the main street and a low back façade faces the garden, where a more intimate scale defines the surrounding neighborhood. The triangular shape results from the building envelope specified for the site, maximizing the floor area and exploiting the sculptural potential of the zoning laws. An experimental and unexpected mix of gallery spaces, offices, and public areas unfolds above and below ground, creating a complex that invites the public to engage with contemporary art in Seoul.
The concrete surface of the façade is textured using wooden formwork, alluding to the meaning of SongEun: “Hidden Pine Tree”. On one side of the building, a cut out of the base invites visitors from the street to the main lobby and a garden while, on the other, a ramp leads to parking below. The curve of the descending ramp carves an opening in the ceiling of an underground exhibition space, connecting it to the activity, sound, and light from street-level. Above ground, the ramp’s spiral volume continues as a stair bringing visitors up to the second-floor galleries.
The first inaugural exhibition is set to open on 28 September 2021 and will be curated by Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with SongEun Art and Cultural Foundation.