Korea House

new york, ny

client: korean government

SAMOO Architects and Thomas Balsley Associates received first place in the international design competition for a new Korean Cultural Center. The collaboration blends indoor and outdoor spaces including two rooftop terraces that celebrate traditional Korean beauty and advanced Korean technology through contemporary translations of the Korean garden. Korean stone masons and folk potters helped develop custom freestanding stone walls and Onggi-ware fountains inspired by the clay pickling jars used to make kimchi and which are ubiquitous with Korean cooking. Timber decks with stone seats and flowering shrubs frame a giant, dynamic media wall displaying images of famous Korean gardens. Contorted Korean Pines, Korea’s national tree, hold a prominent position in the landscape and contrast with the clean lines of the contemporary spaces. The new Korean Cultural Center experience will be expanded and enriched with a seamless transition into a series of urban gardens in the sky.