Seoul Art Complex, Pyeongchang-dong, Seoul, South Korea
of the community space: Public domain and public realm.
Within public buildings circulation areas form and define a true community space. All other specified and destined areas, rooms and spaces are exclusive to the ones taking part in the activities in there at the time. The circulation area can be seen as the only adaptive, open and integrating space to welcome guests and visitors throughout any time, if the use is defined beyond the mere practical definition. Circulation zones can offer space for individuals and groups to spend time regardless of activities, services and events offered and held in those specified rooms. They can further extend the specified areas into a truly open and public realm, creating an interactive and multifunctional hybrid between "inside" and "outside".
its re-definition, circulation zones become the community space.
Specified areas become pockets inside it, undefined extending into the
public realm and/or merging with other zones.
circulation area is the least defined and unspecific space in a
building. Therefore it can transform to the most important place inside
a building, as it can host any physical or digital exchange in any form
as it is not designed to one specific need or use, so it does not
exclude any form of use. The circulation area in its definition
translates best to the use of mobile information technology, as it is an
in-between space, neither nor. The circulation area holds the potential
to become the central spine of any public, institutional or commercial
building, whereas more defined spaces could form silent capsules and
retreats around it, designed for specific needs, like private Chatrooms.
"empty" space in-between two other spaces in now filled with
public stair/ramp is the hybrid between a public space and public
furniture. Public stairs can transform to meeting places, eating places,
exhibition spaces, speaker corners, auditoriums, mobile offices,
e-commerce trading place, Chatroom, entertainment area, living room. We
should move as much area as possible out from the specified spaces into
the circulation zones to make our buildings more adaptable, more
unspecific, more efficient and by doing so, more communal. Public spaces
historically represent exchange. Circulation areas are the most public
spaces in any building.
Vertical circulation = short link. Vertical circulation is equivalent to the online short link, the fastest connection between two points. The path is not visible, only defined by entry and exit point.
Art Complex is designed as a community hub that shelters public spaces
and fills them with life throughout the day. It aspires to create an
open door concept that encourages exchange. The spaces are used as
public living rooms in which the building becomes an extension of the
everyday life. People can spend time within the complex without having
necessarily to enter into the exhibitions, library or events, making the
Art Complex a true public place of open cultural meeting point for the
Given the compact programmatic needs of the art complex, the design experiments the function of paths as an experiential connection to a place but also as an intellectual connection to the mind.
Circulation spaces have been thought of as a new kind of cultural street dedicated for community use throughout the day with cafes and extended cultural activities that can be injected between functional programs. This active cultural street is envisaged to form a continuous upward movement from ground level towards the highest point of the site, leading visitors to the sculpture garden on roof level. The ramp not only connects key functional programs of the building from one end to the other, but also considers public connectivity to surrounding outdoor landscaped and workshop areas. The ramp takes advantage of the topography and transforms into an additional auditorium in the public space that physically and visually links the two main levels of the facility.
The open door concept efficiently eliminates circulation spaces from being enclosed pass through corridors into multi-functional spaces for community use. Functional areas are connected by the ramp, which now are injected with social life, and new qualities that integrate different groups of people to meet and share, similarly to how city blocks are connected by streets and plazas where human exchanges happen naturally in these public spaces. Functional programs such as exhibition, learning, cafes and community areas are ambiguously defined to create a sense of openness and publicness such that visitors can wander freely. Exhibitions, screenings, theatre performances, lectures, open workshops and community activities can be extended into the ramp, forming an open platform for intellectual exchange of minds and human interactions at varying degree. Functions that required privacy and sound control are defined rooms and spaces, cladded with translucent poly-carbonate to allow light and visibility throughout the building.
The sloping building stretches along the site, connecting the two main levels of 6 to 7.5 meter high spaces with a continuous ramp that allows people of all ages to move through the site at different levels and speed as desire. The path is a direct response to universal design and the need of the community, while providing visibility through the entire Art Complex and experiential linkages to entry points of surrounding sites.
placing the continuous ramp on one side of the building, the functional
programs can be flexibly connected or divided within large footprints.
The functions are demarcated by slight shifts in elevational change
without the use of separation walls. Hence, spaces can be interconnected
with activities in each space being mutually visible and exchangeable.
The ramp is designed based on regulatory wheelchair accessibility, providing a maximum slope of 1:12 and a minimum landing of 1.5 meters length every 0.75m height.
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