Korean American Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California
1995 competition entry in collaboration with Hugh Nathanson
The program for this 216,000 square foot art museum and cultural center called for a multi-functional cultural complex containing permanent and temporary museum galleries with storage, workspaces, artist’s studios, a performance theater, a library, a lecture auditorium, administrative offices, café, gift shop, subterranean parking garage and a large outdoor Korean garden. The solution minimized massing on the site in response to its residential context while maximizing open outdoor spaces. The design approach incorporated the use of ancient Korean philosophies in ordering the forms.
model: Todd T. Williams
model photography: Glenn Williams
At the larger urban scale this design for KOMA was approached with the intent of effecting a massing of architectural forms similar to the notion of the susok, traditional rock arrangements found in the gardens of Korea. The susok consists of variously shaped and sized rocks positioned in balanced and harmonious compositions based on the principles of um-yang, an integral component of Korean philosophy. At a smaller scale the design concept was generated with the primary intent of providing a generous and geometrically pure courtyard to accommodate and serve as an organizing locus for the diverse cultural functions of KOMA.