Design proposal for a new landmark and iconic symbol of the City of Suncheon, South Korea: an Art and Visitor Centre including temporary and permanent exhibition areas, gallery shop, cafeteria, restaurant and indoor and outdoor public spaces.


Project description



By embracing the cultural heritage and environmental credentials of the City, 'The Glowing Lantern' intends to represent and showcase the City to the fullest.

It was designed with a holistic approach based on three key principles: heritage, genius loci and innovation.

Heritage: The design concept, in both its formal expression and composition, has been influenced by Korean heritage, architecture and art, either by direct integration or by deconstruction and re-composition.

Genius loci: In depth consideration was given to the site and its wider context – being social, cultural, and historical as well as its surrounding built environment, to integrate the new building into the Old City. For this the site has been designed to be highly permeable, visible, welcoming and well connected to the city in order to empower it to become a new ‘Place’, a new destination full of life and activities in the Old City. This also contributes strongly to the broad City-wide regeneration effort already in place.

Innovation:  The ‘Box in a semi-permeable shell’ design concept was based on the key principles of sustainability and environmental design strategies.


Suncheon Art Platform building – the ‘Glowing Lantern’, is a self-contained multipurpose building made of functional and public spaces covered by a unifying single building envelope. Under the external envelope, the functional spaces are addressed into self-contained buildings connected by atria and galleries. The envelope function is bivalent: it is a weather protection as well as a white canvas that models this new destination into an iconic, pure element.

The external shell plays a crucial role in creating a mitigated micro-climate within its interior. With controlled natural ventilation, it provides a comfortable environment for the visitor to enjoy throughout the year. The mitigation effect is designed to greatly reduce cooling and heating loads within the functional spaces of the inner buildings. The openings in the roofs are designed to feed indoor landscaping and green roofs while providing rainwater harvesting for reuse.

The functional spaces are designed to be flexible in order to allow a creative and articulated use of the building by its curators. Folding partition systems in the Experience and Exhibition Rooms on the first floor offer the opportunity for multiple arrangements and circulation flows. The galleries alongside the perimeter of the building are designed to offer multi-purpose space for temporary exhibitions, shows and events. The lecture theater features a mobile seating system (hinged with lifting beam on the front) so the space can be transformed to exhibition or event space without logistical or management implications. The articulation of the functional spaces and their connecting circulation flow are designed to offer the visitor the opportunity to discover all areas of the building and its surrounding area as the journey progresses. The external envelope clear glass areas are designed to engage targeted visual connectivity between the events and activities happening in the building with the outside surroundings as well as to invite visitors from the neighboring streets into it.