Jeju Museum of Art designed by GANSAM Architects & Partners, is situated in Jeju, South Korea the mountain area on the north-west of Jeju Island. Through the Japanese cedar forest along the long rectangular site, Mt. Halla is seen on the rear, while the clear sky and warm sunshine fills this sunny place.
Generally the architecture of art museums in Korea tends to show massive plasticity with a heave sense of space, boasting its architectural magnificence. However, in this project, the architects of Gansam tried to create an open frame enabling new appreciation for the nature of Jeju. It steps back as a background to spotlight the various art works which are to be lodged in. Also it creates the sense of place as a cultural complex park, where its art works and visitors can be its protagonists, weaving interesting stories, rather than being a complete architecture in terms of the form. Its basic concept is a cube, the most basic form in the architectural space.
This simple and rational shape of the building shows the architect’s will to harbor wind and light of Jeju, to a full degree, and to spotlight its art works displayed inside. The cube becomes a vessel meeting with land, embracing rapes, pampas grass, water, and crater; while two engaged volumes of art museum with aesthetic simplicity, become a mirror reflecting Jeju sky and Mt. Halla, by the specialisation of surface into a plane and frame.
The pond embracing Jeju Museum of Art is a reflection of the Island’s natural atmosphere as well as the ceremony of purifying oneself before appreciating the works of art. Across the pond by a bridge, there is a small courtyard. It is a geometric form of access yard surrounded by black basalt of Jeju and exposed concrete. Different from the conventional access square of other museums, full of liveliness, four sides of this small courtyard is surrounded by nature, consequently shunning crowdedness. Visitors could enjoy the colourful nature of Jeju, and calm their mind, and concentrate fully on the art works inside of the museum. The architect’s will is realised in this arrangement.
Jeju Museum of Art is also a gallery to view the unique nature of Jeju. The dazzling beauty of the Island, such as the color of sky changing constantly through the time, Mt. Halla which is seen from every direction in the Island on a sunny day, splendid rapes on the field, beautiful waves of pampas grass in the wind, etc., become the special masterpiece and memory for oneself, through the open frame of this museum.