The White Block Gallery is a 1500 m2 exhibition and cultural space at the heart of the Heyri Art Valley in South Korea. A matrix of 3 solid gallery volumes carefully positioned creates 7 additional galleries in a compact but open ended configuration.
Designed to showcase global contemporary art from super sized sculpture and paintings to multi-media installations, the spaces are unique in proportion and lighting allowing curators to accommodate new future forms of art and media.
Integration with the landscape of the prominent lake-front site is also of crucial importance: The result places the intense and controlled experience of art side-by-side with informal social and landscape interactions.
Passive heating and ventilation are integrated into the art house’s high efficiency environmental systems and runoff control measures become part of the spatial experience of art.
By carefully arranging the massing of 3 solid gallery volumes, 7 more galleries are produced in the interstitial spaces to create a total of 10 proportionally varied galleries.
The fritting pattern takes on more figural volumes to create areas of privacy and publicity. The shapes merge with the patterns of early morning fog. A functional space of the fire stair becomes a main feature as a public viewing platform at the building’s corner.
As the largest site in the Heyri Art Valley, the aggregation of solid and transparent boxes breaks down the overall scale of the building. Each solid gallery box is thought of as a pavilion that is either suspended above the landscape or placed on top of it.
The solid boxes capture shadows of adjacent trees while the transparent boxes reflect the distant landscape. A roofdeck on the lower ‘sitting box’ has extended views to the natural surrounds. A compressed entry under the hovering ‘hanging box’ frames views to the waterfront beyond.
The low space is accentuated through the use of dark woods and in juxtaposition to the tall ‘supercore’ it connects to. The entry glass is the only curved moment in the otherwise taut skin and allows one to occupy an ambiguous space between inside and outside.
The ‘Supercore’ is an organizational void space that mediates between the autonomy of each gallery space and its connection to the surrounding landscape. A series of bridges cross the space and become viewing platforms for artwork.
Location: Heyri ArtValley, Korea Architect: SsD architecture Project Team: Jinhee Park AIA + John Hong AIA, LEED (principals in charge), Frederick Peter Ortner, Donguk Lee, Jiseok Park, Taesoo Kim, Christoph Schäfer, Juho Lee, Marcela Delgado, Soojung Rhee, Aleta Budd, Okhyun Kim, Eli Allen, Jeff Niemasz, Eunkyoung Cho, Brian Vester, Ryan Welch, Jeong Jun Song Associate Architect: Dyne Architects Structural Design: Matt Johnson, SGH Inc. Structural Engineer: S+RC Lighting Consultant: Project Concept K Area: 1500 m2 Year: 2011 Photographs: Chang Kyun Kim