NAM JUNE PAIK MUSEUM

COMPETITION ENTRY, 2002

LOCATION / KYONGGI, SOUTH KOREA

2003 Miami Biennale Exhibition.

The Nam Jun Paik Museum project was a response to an open international competition to build a new museum in an existing public park in Kyonggi Korea.  The existing natural parkland is an amenity that cannot be sacrificed.  Our project adds both a museum and additional open park area.  The building connects to and extends the park’s existing path system providing connections to the Kyonggi Provincial Museum, the high school, the playgrounds, the sports fields, the parking lot and public transportation.  The new access road winds through the project, splitting to allow separate access for visitors and for staff and loading.

The building is integral to the park.  It adds a covered Nam June Paik garden and the rooftop landscape to the existing exterior park areas and provides an interior that engages the exterior spaces from all directions.  Interior and exterior are part of the museum experience and the park experience. 

Nam June Paik’s art often questions the relationship between nature and technology.   The continuous connection between interior and exterior spaces in our proposal allows the park to flow under, over and through the building.  It provides an opportunity to explore the relationship between technology and nature using existing pieces of Nam June Paik’s art as well as future/new installations.

Nam June Paik’s work ranges from pieces requiring dark spaces (Fish Flies on Sky, 1975, for example) to other pieces such as the TV robots that can be displayed in daylight.  His early Fluxus pieces use public spaces to foster interaction where an element of unpredictability adds to the work. Other pieces require a controlled, traditional Gallery environment.  There is no single way to present his work because it is so varied and is created for such different environments. 

Our project provides a great spectrum of display spaces ranging from those offering precise and complete atmospheric control to uncontrolled exterior areas in the park, from sweeping panoramic views of the city to no views.

The concept for the interior lighting extends this flexibility. Lighting ranges from completely controlled lighting conditions in the buried parts of the building to open, sunlit areas near the curtain wall.

The spaces created by the inclined truss structure offer varied interior heights which can be left open or enclosed with membrane ceilings spanning across the underside of the trusses (4 meters above the floor).  By leaving the space open or using membrane ceiling, translucent or opaque, a variety of different types of space and lighting can be achieved.

The underside of the building provides a shaded flat surface ideal for displaying video art outside while minimizing the glare normally associated with exterior video installations.  The glowing video surface provides a manufactured technological alternative to the sun lit sky.

Art pieces are installed within the area designated as gallery as well as in the public spaces, both interior and exterior, blurring the distinction between museum and public space and between interior and exterior, and allowing diverse interactive possibilities.

Video gardens can be installed within the gallery space, adjacent to open light wells that connect them to the landscape below and above.  They can also be installed under the building as part of the park but where they can also be viewed from inside of the galleries above.

The openings through the building can accommodate large laser sculptures similar to Nam June Paiks installation at Rockefeller center in New York or hanging video installations like Video Funnel, 1984.

Video art often produces reflected, glowing light of intense colors as can be seen in the windows of apartment buildings throughout the world.  The open ceiling structure can be used to reveal this glowing light spilling between spaces.

A trussed, folded plate roof structure connects to trusses spanning the existing valley, which carry the loads into the adjacent hills.  Two primary trusses carry most of the vertical loads with vierendeel trusses stiffening the edge along the curtain wall.  By varying the geometry between the primary trusses and the vierendeel edges different ceiling elevations can be achieved inside the space.  The floor structure is a regular steel frame and concrete slab system hung from the truss structure.