Sejong-Si National Design Museum

Repetition, implementation, and transformation: product design speaking through architecture

Located a hundred kilometres from Seoul, Sejong is undergoing a transformation into the administrative capital of South Korea. Since 2007, thanks to a master plan that is as grand as it is accurate, ministries, business centres and a series of museums that will become the City of Culture are in the process of being moved.

Park Associati's proposal for the creation of the National Design Museum fits into this setting. The project’s design is the result of the ideas of repetition and implementation of an object, or a shape being taken to extremes.

The other museum buildings and a service centre envisaged for this area are connected by a pathway interspersed with green courtyards and passages. The National Design Museum appears to be the exact structural footprint of the one next to it, the Museum of Architecture and Urban Planning. The façade and the exteriors are the main intervention points for the voluminous simply-shaped building.

The dynamic front of the glass facade is made up of self-propelling graphic panels that can be arranged differently, depending on the exhibition. The building’s appearance is always changing – from totally inward-looking to completely open.

On the lower-ground floor, where the entrances to the museum are located, the volume rests on the ground featuring a light geometry that partially excavates its base creating an intimate, sheltered place housing an artificial pond on which the building seems to float – the Water Theatre. The colours of the water reflected onto the shiny false ceiling and the thick vegetation surrounding the pond turn the Water Theatre into a special place, perfect for resting and meeting. From the tiers envisaged for this space, any events taking place on the peninsula rising above the water can be watched.

The vast interiors feature no parting, with the exception of those needed to adapt the space to different installation configurations. The wooden structures and the colours chosen for flooring and false ceilings lend this space the neutrality and purity needed when displaying highly visual objects and graphics.

  • Info
    • Location
      Sejong, South Korea
    • Client
      National Agency for Administrative City Construction
    • Status
    • Year
    • Area
      19700 m²
    • Design team
      Filippo Pagliani, Michele Rossi Matteo Arietti (Project Director) Simone Marzorati, Ismail Seleit Marianna Merisi (Landscape) Marinella Ferrari (Graphics) Antonio Cavallo, Mara Nunziante, Xhensila Ogreni, Stefano Venegoni (Visualizations)

Design genesis

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