Utopian architects in 1960s already had visions of flexible architecture which could be temporarily solved, removed and replaced according to the needs of society as a whole and people as individuals as well. They discussed new technology, reinterpreted social orders, experimental theories, temporary lifespan of architecture and architects' role within. Whereas their visions were for the future which could not be built at that time, we are now living in the future that they dreamed of. Now, anything we imagine or imagined can be realised due to the fast development of technology, and the speed of development is becoming faster. Almost any building we imagine is possible to be built, so 'just imagine, then it will come true' like in a fairytale. Although we acquired the freedom to create anything we imagine, it became more difficult 'what' to design in order to satisfy people who have their own experiences about everything which results in myriad ways of expecting their reaction toward one single situation.
In this rapidly changing world, the role of a museum, its perspective toward public and the way visitors use the museum are also changing. A museum is expected to be flexible and quickly react to the change of society, politics, economy and the need of people. In 2016, people might want to see a meaningful exhibition with the possibility of visiting a nice cafe, a restaurant or a creative art shop. The importance of using social media in promoting the museum is also arising. As it is hard to imagine what will happen in 2026, the architecture of the museum shall support the change of the museum and mutate itself accompanying the time and technology.
The four-steps strategy is the following:
1. Community build-up. Announcement of new era (short-term temporary solution)
In a short term planning (within next 1-2 years), MMCA Gwacheon creates community relationship, conversation and public stories. The new pneumatic spaces will test the scenarios and encourage the interaction between visitors and the museum involving local communities in its art projects. The temporary inflatable installations can be used as eye-catcher, open call art space, meeting point or educational art discussion venue. The pneumatic structures rediscover certain spaces in the museum addressing the new potentiality of the museum.
As a part of Seoul Grand Park master plan, the museum discovers its art & cultural identity within the area. Connected through monorail infrastructure, from Seoul Grand Park Metro station, theme park, zoo, museum to camping area, the museum takes advantage of human flow and contributes artistic aspect to the area. The monorail station right in front of the museum will facilitate accessibility shortening the distance to the main entrance.
3. Extension of museum (long-term temporary solution)
Assuming 10 years lifespan of a building, the new extension of the museum follows and emphasises the existing architectural gesture while connected with the infrastructure. The spherical space could contain new art (media, sound, performance art), collaborative works with other fields (science, literature, psychology, history etc), entertainment (restaurant, cafes, art shop) or any occasions which are yet unknown. The function of the space will be determined by visitors and changed over time according to people's needs. The pneumatic facade is very lightweight and regulated by ventilating system. The transparent material allows infinite view of the surroundings. The transparent solar energy film is integrated and the structure self-generates the energy for electricity and air conditioning. The transparency changing film alters its transparency in order to minimise the effect of sunlight, and it can also be used as projection surface. The light construction frames are engineered to adjust itself according to the natural wind.
4. Move to new location. Museum is moving forward.
Light-weight temporary architecture is more sustainable than permanent one since relocation is easier and it is economically more effective than demolishing a building. The building can be assembled within 6-8 weeks, and after serving the need of the museum (about 10 years), it will be dismantled and transported to the new location. It brings its story and memories to the new place.