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Interactive Engagement with the Chungnam Art Museum Design

UNStudio and South Korean design firm DA Group have been selected to design the Chungnam Art Museum in Naepo, South Korea and the design celebrates engagement between art and the public.

The Chungnam Art Museum will provide a new form of interactive engagement between art and the public. It does this by turning the museum inside out, bringing in the city and community of Chungnam to create a diverse and vibrant cultural experience.

UNStudio’s Founder and Principal Architect, Ben van Berkel said: “Art has the power to bring people together. It inspires, it teaches and it fosters communities. The Chungnam Art Museum will be a place for people to experience this…and much more.”

“Our design for the museum will provide a new form of interactive engagement between art and the public. It will be a fully immersive cultural and social experience for the whole community; a living, breathing space that will grow and change over time.”

The museum is designed as a place of inspiration, participation, and contribution – to both art and the community. It also aims to become one of the first Zero-Energy museums in Korea.

“For the future of the museum, we see the opportunity to create vibrant and interactive spaces through which art and technology can be experienced in new ways,” said the architects.

The winning consortium comprises design partners UNStudio and DA Group, Squint/Opera (digital content and exhibition design), Loos van Vliet (landscape design), and UNSense (community content).

The Chungnam Art Museum will be a marketplace for a culture that embraces flexibility and the concept of ‘art for all’. It will ultimately be a place for the community, now and for the future.

“The design for this smart art museum looks at new ways in which we can experience and share stories about art and design – both physically and digitally, and the architecture has to support this experience.

“For this reason, we have incorporated two big, defining details into the design: a plateaued central courtyard and the Cultural Boulevard. These two ‘big details’ are crucial for creating communication spaces, as well as for the wayfinding, as they enable people to be guided on a continuous experience of space and art from multiple routes and angles.

The Cultural Boulevard is the central wayfinding element, as it combines the outside with the inside and provides links throughout the site, seamlessly blending art, culture, and commerce.

From outside, the Cultural Boulevard connects the cultural plots with one another and weaves the main access routes through the building and into the central courtyard. From here, plateaus also reach into the courtyard, offering multiple perceptions of the space.

The continuity of the Cultural Boulevard to the Arts Centre and the Library also activates the common functions. This is then balanced through the connection to the landscape and to the mountains behind.


Client: Department of Culture, Chungcheongnam-do

Location: Chungnam, South Korea

Building surface: 13,797m2

Site area: 26,478m2

Programme: Art Museum

Status: Competition entry, 1st prize

Images Courtesy: UNSTUDIO.