The metropolitan city of Incheon, together with the Housing and City Development Corporation, organised an international competition for the new Geomdan Museum Library Cultural Complex. Of the 75 entries from around the world that responded to the open call, SOUR, in collaboration with Seoinn Design Group, was selected among the final five to present for the second stage of evaluations in front of an international jury. The jury decision was announced by the metropolitan city of Incheon, together with its Housing and City Development Corporation, during the ceremony at the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning in Incheon, South Korea. The design team, led by SOUR, was awarded the fourth prize.
The proposal’s ambition was to urge architects to a necessary paradigm shift in the making of landmark architecture, where the design criteria and form making should be driven by energy endurance and climate resiliency.
Project: Geomdan’s Museum Library Cultural Complex
Typology: Cultural venue, museum, library and park
Location: Incheon, South Korea
Client: Incheon Housing and City Development Corporation, Incheon Metropolitan City
Architects: SOUR Studio + Seoinn Design Group
Design: Inanc Eray with Dong Kyu Choi
Design team: Pinar Guvenc, Alex Yoocheol Choi, Marianne de Zeeuw, Mariana Evangelista, Merve Guven, Pinar Gursoy, Merve Akbay, Irem Gocmenoglu, Derin Sahin, Nicholas Doghlass and Gamze Gurgenc
The proposal envisages a cultural, eco-friendly community landmark housing a futuristic library and indoor-outdoor museum, working together to become Geomdan’s new archaeology park: a place for nature and people to thrive and explore and where form follows sustainability measures and environmentally-responsible design.
“Climate and energy crises, the global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic urge us architects to re-evaluate our priorities and methods in the generation of signature architecture,” explains Inanc Eray, Partner and Creative Director at SOUR. “Any and all proposals for the built environment need to present purposefully-viable solutions that address issues around energy usage, material waste, supply chain inefficiencies and carbon footprint. We, therefore, had two main questions with the design of this building: ‘How might we use low-tech strategies for the (re)discovery of sustainable landmark architecture?’ And ‘how might we evolve beyond energy-intensive technologies and high-cost construction methods to generate scalable solutions in the built environment?’
“We believe that a landmark project, such as a new library and museum complex, represents a great opportunity to reform landmark aesthetics to be informed by climate resilience and to rediscover low-tech strategies to generate truly sustainable architecture, and I hope we have a glimpse of what this shift can look like here.”
The new Geomdan Museum Library Culture complex will help kick start the transformation of one of Incheon’s most important brownfield sites, which will eventually become home to 180,000 residents.