Light, water and landscape – these natural elements are the central architectural components of the Daeyang Gallery in Seoul. The American architect Steven Holl has succeeded in blending these individual elements into a fascinatingly harmonious architectural entity. The unconventionally designed spatial sequence is similar to a work of art whose originality, structure and fascination unfolds in its entirety when experienced live. Characteristic are, among others, the bands of light in the roof area – partially fit with a capillary insert from OKALUX, which graphically structure the ensemble of buildings and create distinctive light effects by day and by night.
Steven Holl’s inspiration for the building formation was, for the main part, music. The structure of the project, which he realized in cooperation with the locally based E.rae Architects office, is based on a sketch by componist Istvan Anhalt entitled “Symphony of Modules”: Gallery & House symbolizes a composition of continuous movements. The nearly 1,000 square meter large residential and gallery ensemble is comprised of three components grouped around a flat water basin which merge in the basement. The first pavilion serves as the entrance area, the second is used as a residential area and the third for events. All three cubes are characterized by a strong upward movement and seem to emerge out of the water like monoliths. The water basin both connects and separates the individual building elements at the same time. In spite of the spatial separation, there is a visual connection between the patinized copper panels of the building components on the upper floor and the light concrete slabs with artistic looking horizontal bamboo structure in the basement.
The constant interaction of light also plays a central role in the Daeyang Gallery. Steven Holl describes his production as “Beams of Light” which activate the “quiet rooms” of the upper and lower floors through light. Daylight enters the interior through 55 bands of skylights. There are even light bridges in the water basin through which daylight enters the interior of the building. To ensure the highest possible amount of light in the basement, band-formed insulating glass elements over the stairwell were fit with capillary inserts from OKALUX. The translucent capillary glass KAPILUX T disperses the incident daylight evenly and glare free into the rooms located underground creating optimal light conditions in the gallery. The fanlights with the translucent capillary insert in the cavity blend into the band landscape in perfect harmony with the design of the roofs of the three pavilions reducing the building’s requirements of artificial light.
With his design of the Daeyang Gallery, Steven Holl has once more succeeded in interpreting the elements of light and space in a spectacular and unconventionally new way. His numerous awards like the “Annual Design Review Award”, the “Emirates Glass Leaf Awards 2012”, and his most recent “A+ Award 2013” already received for this impressive project demonstrate this fact.