3XN GXN wins international competition for Chungnam Art Center

Alongside project partners SIAPLAN and MDA, the winning design was selected in an international competition. As the keystone in the Chungnam Art Precinct, the new art center will form a destination for creative expression.

The design team of 3XN GXN with SIAPLAN and MDA has been named the winner of the Chungnam Art Center competition, an international invited competition to design the last piece of the Chungnam Art Precinct in Chungcheongnam-do, South Korea. The vision for the culture and performance hub unites a global design perspective with local knowledge and experience.

Image © 3XN GXN

Art in Movement / Art is Movement
The arts bring magic and myth to life and allow us to imagine and experience worlds beyond our own. They give form to an unspoken language of expression and movement.

The Chungnam Art Center is made in this language, taking inspiration from the wave of a conductor’s baton; the arc of a dancer’s pointed toe as it arcs through the air. Art plays the leading role in both the function and the design of the Chungnam Art Center, which balances a rational concept with an expressive form.

Image © 3XN GXN

The key elements of the program (the halls, lobby, and fly-tower) are efficiently clustered together, the subtle arced forms of the roof to respond to the heights and volumes of the program within.

Echoing the curves of the roof, a scalloped timber cladding envelops the hall’s outer walls, the concave spaces creating entry niches, seating and program spaces along the lobby’s periphery. And the lobby itself is clear and open, with clear sightlines across the lobby and to the gardens and plazas outside.

Image © 3XN GXN

The roof’s curved expression masks a simple diagram: the roof plane is draped over the program volumes, folded in half over the central, diagonal axis, then sliced and arced to fit the functions below.

Accentuating the Surrounding Landscape
The Chungnam Art Precinct is nestled between the growing district of Naepo New Town and the Yongbongsan Mountains, a small range to the south-west of the site that is strewn with popular hiking trails and lookout points.

Image © 3XN GXN

The mountains form the backdrop to the precinct, itself a sprawling park landscape populated by the art center, library, and art museum (for which UN Studio won the competition in 2021). Respecting this location, the building’s footprint is concentrated to give as much park space back to the city, as possible.

Where the library and art museum follow an alignment with the main street, the art center is rotated to create better physical and visual connections to both the other buildings and to the surrounding nature. The building is designed with no visible ‘front side’ or ‘back side’, giving visitors stunning views out, and passersby a beautiful image in of the building regardless of where they are in the precinct.

Image © 3XN GXN

Local Design Strategies
The sustainability strategy for Chungnam Art Center is holistic and truly integrated into the architecture, adding value and optimizing performance for both people and planet. This includes working with biodiversity, human well-being and comfort, and a resilient and robust design.

A strong sense of place is a cornerstone of sustainable design. Through placemaking strategy, the building is designed to amplify the site’s existing qualities for all users. As such, it will be a space that brings people together and where culture becomes accessible and inclusive for all.

Image © 3XN GXN

Learning from the existing landscape, the design’s approach to biophilia is structured on twin strategies, a direct and an abstract connection with nature. For direct connection, the focus is on maximizing visibility to the grand landscapes that surround the site with a planted park dissolving the boundary between nature and culture as one approaches.

The abstract connection with nature is found through the curving roof forms, and use of natural materials such as wood and stone. Additional sustainability efforts include photovoltaics integrated seamlessly into the roof while rainwater will also be harvested. Source by 3XN GXN.

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