Wal-Chong Museum is not a work of architecture but a translation into a built landscape of the work of contemporary Korean artist Lee Wal-Chong. The much discussed theme of the boundaries between art and architecture and the collaboration between artists and architects, finds in this work an answer as simple as it is effective.
After many years of research, merging our work with the context within which we build, this work represents an important milestone that has confirmed to us, how, on a practical level, abandoning the dogma often associated with the practice of architecture is a way to enter into a new expressive world, related more to the senses than to ideology. Architecture is the bridge between the DNA of a place and its future and serves to transmit the emotions through the senses of man. The Wal Chong Museum, for which we have served as the instruments for the sensibilities of the artist, is born out of the fertile land of Jeju and expresses its heritage and soul.
The architect is asked to prepare the physical mass. Its form was created as if carved out by the natural elements of the island, as if it were lain exposed for centuries to its wind and its waters. This work becomes the representation of a built and painted space of the magic world of Jeju and of its history, evoking the ancestral energies of volcanic eruptions out in the middle of the sea. This project was conceived of and explored as a modelled form; sculptural and gestural forms that are afforded harmony through a precise geometry. Initially revealing a reclining female figure overlooking the ocean, it ultimately reaches a synthesis within which we find the aspirations and inspirations of the artist working in tandem with natural elements.
Just like a block of clay from which the artist can carve out, cut, shape and paint; the building, together with the sculpture garden, becomes part of the artist’s work. Wal Chong, in his on-site daily life, (not a day has gone by that he has not worked alongside the builders) has shaped every detail according to his own extraordinary sensibility related to his world on Jeju island. He has created a sculpture on a landscape scale, he has recreated the wonderful world of his art using all the elements available to him. He chooses natural elements such as the flowers and the trees and considers not only their form and colour but also the insects and the songs of the birds that live and fly among them. All these elements are found in the work of the artist, but this time they are transformed into a landscape to be enjoyed and physically experienced through the senses. The work of Wal Chong is focussed on representing the context of his island. It reproduces the simplicity and the richness of island life and of its proud and humble soul.Location: SeoGuiPo, Jeju Island, South Korea
Architects: Davide Macullo Architects, Switzerland + Han Man Won, South Korea
Client: Lee Wal Chong
Works/site supervision: Gana construction Co/Ko DongYun
Structural engineer: Jung HyunGoo
Building engineer: Yoon EungGi, No YoungMan
Lighting: Litework Yoon ByungEun Dates: First site visit: 2008.03.15
Construction Start: 2011.09.26
Completion Date: 2012.12.14
Gallery Opening: 2013.05.31 Site Area: 2,481 m2
Building Area: 490.69 m2 (19.78 %)
Total Floor Area: 1,149.07 m2
Total Cost: Euro1.2 m Materials: Concrete structure, exterior brick + render
Interior walls white painted, gypsum board,
Flooring timber, resin
Photographer: Park YoungChae