client: samsung architecture
Evolving trends in technology and the need to build a new state of the art Electronics Training Center allowed Samsung to commission the collaborative team of Samoo Architects and Thomas Balsley Associates for the design of their new facility in Keyonggi-Do Province in Korea. Essential to both Samsung and the design team was a site design solution that would be seamlessly integrated into its natural rural environment as well as foster effective sustainable strategies.
Nestled at the base of wooded hills in a natural ravine, the promontories of the training center’s site feel the warm embrace of its natural environment. The landscape concept invites the natural vegetation into the center’s perimeter edges to help blur the lines of the manmade and natural landscape. That same landscape of ravine and promontory has inspired the reinterpreted versions that are employed throughout the campus.
Metaphorical forest “fragments” strike a dialogue with the “built” landscape within. This act of replication is revealed in combination with the mounded forms and small hills that take the cue from the adjoining topography. More formalized plantings complement the landscape courtyard’s hardscape whose skeletal system expresses architectural modulations and sensibilities into a refined landscape language. As social spaces, the courtyard is dressed in more formal and sophisticated planting arrays that bring visual interest throughout the seasons.
As a central theme, the concept of water traverses the site from east to west as an organizing site element. Taking different forms with different purposes, water is embedded into the campus landscape concepts. The most meaningful and powerful expression is that of the “mountain stream” or rill. As one might expect of a ravine, the stream is the connective link between the hills and their valleys and the behind world. The strength of its straight-line geometry and the accompanying light effects will become one of the most provocative and memorable aspects of a visit or stay on campus. At each subtle change in outdoor elevation, the water’s effects are diversified, sometimes for visual and sometimes for audio effects.