Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art

  • Seoul, South Korea
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The LEEUM museum is a precious black-grey steel structure that nestles into a great vertical cavity composed of stone gabions. Between the museum structure and the stone walls, twelve meters below street level, silver willow trees are planted. The steel structure supports steel-clad volumes containing the museum’s exhibit spaces. In between the volumes, a great wall of glass framed by geometrically-arranged mullions creates an orthogonal rhythm around immense panes of glass. From the inside, the glass openings reveal a leafy world against a background of stone; this world frames the variously shaped exhibit halls that cantilever out from the structure amongst the trees. The space is fluid, rich in views up and down. The complementarity between the permanence of the steel structure and the temporary feel of the gabion walls creates internal tension.



Jean Nouvel