New York Korea Center
- New York, USA
- Culture, Office
- 8 Stories and 2 Basements
Winner, Design Competition, 2009
Winner, ICONIC Awards Concept, 2013
A major challenge in designing the Korea Cultural Center was to animate the north-facing site within the context of the rigidity of the New York City grid.
The design embodies the modern Korean sensibility of innovation in harmony with tradition. A multi-layered glass facade creates a screen wall that illuminates three sculptural figures within. Each of the three figures has a distinct material: polished ceramic, rough terracotta, and milled wood – representing Heaven, Earth, and Humanity respectively. The iconic figures embrace the building’s three distinct zones: soaring public spaces, semi-public cultural lecture rooms and libraries, and private administrative offices and visiting artists’ studio.
The transparency of the facade opens the building’s activities to street life and energizes the surrounding area. Layered behind the glass facade, an open frame will provide a canvas for display panels that convey a changing visual message to passers-by. This dynamic architectural composition creates a welcoming space for the community.
The street level of Korea Center will focus on exhibits related to current trends in Korean culture, including movies, music, food, technology, and TV dramas – a phenomenon known as “Korean Wave.” Visitors can also enjoy a library, cafe, gardens, as well as performances in a 240-seat theatre.