National Korean Literature Museum
Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
Charlotte - 2021
Tomas Elieason, Pedro Pinera, Ashley Disher, Alireza Fatemi
CONCEPT STATEMENT - UNISON
The new National Museum of Korean Literature symbolizes the universal balance between ground and sky, reality and imagination, heaviness and lightness, fears and hopes, sadness and happiness, war and peace, evil and good, humans and nature, self and community, world and country, tradition and progress, spiritual and pragmatic, political and social: ALL themes that come to live through centuries of Korean Literature.
The Building Symbolizes this balance of perspectives and supports the 2 main Eras of Korean Literature (Classical and Modern) by being arranged in 4 distinct zones:
1. The Plinth – symbolizing the Stability of Tradition, the Foundations of Korean Culture, the strength of the Korean Spirit. It symbolizes the land, order, power, and rigidness of the Traditional Korean text. Long granite cut stone (blending with the vernacular of Mount Bukhansan) is used to convey these characteristics of the Classical Korean Literature Period.
2. The Canopy – Symbolizing the Dynamic essence of Modern times, the Freedom of the Korean people, the Enlightenment of the Intellect, and the Liberty of Expression. It symbolizes the Sky, the Movement, the Lightness, the Energy and Progress, all qualities of Modern Korean Literature. Made of Copper (the same material of the 1st Type Print – invented in Korea) the dynamic floating roof conveys the Expressive and freeing nature of Modern Korean Literature.
3. The Horizon – Symbolizing the tension between both Tradition and Progress, Past and Future, Order and Freedom, this transparent zone separates as well as unites. It symbolizes the Self within Community and the glue that each Korean Person means to both the sense of Country and the expression of Individualism, again themes prevalent in Korean Literature. Glass is used as the material conveying Transparency, connectivity, and reflection.
4. The Reconciliation. Symbolizing the inflection point that occurs both in history and literature, this gesture serves as that moment when things change, transform, and deviate from the norm, living in both worlds simultaneously. It symbolizes the struggle and the beauty of balancing opposing forces. A fully transparent space made of fritted glass and bound in copper, it unifies, it welcomes, and it introduces visitors to the magical world of storytelling and literature, yet it also becomes a moment of suspense and reflection while providing transparency and framing the magical mountains range of Mount Bukhansan.