‘Water Drop’ Museum Winner

The Winner of the Week: Korean based architecture firm Archiplan for their first prize design of a contemporary art museum solely for the work of Korean painter Kim Tschang-Yeul. Actually, the big winner out of all of this is Kim. How cool is this: 1. an entire museum dedicated to your work and 2. the museum’s design is based off your work and philosophy? The basketball equivalent of this is the MJ statue out front the United Center.

It’s Archiplan‘s immersiveness to Kim’s work and philosophy to be reflected in the architecture that really resonated with me. You can sense that in their brief statement:

We spent a long time understanding [Kim] – understanding his life, intention and his philosophy. It is necessary to transform his philosophy into a constructed architectural space.

The biggest illustration of Kim’s philosophy reflected in the design is how his signature water drop in paintings is included in the center of the museum. First, read Kim Tschang-Yeul‘s comments on the water drop:

The act of painting water drops is to dissolve everything inside them and return them to a state of nothing. When everything like anger, anxiety and fear is brought to the point of nothing, we experience a state of peace and comfort.

Firstly, that’s true. Think back of a time when you conquered those emotions: anger, anxiety, and fear. Isn’t that first moment of peace a wonderful feeling? We can visualize this next time we feel those emotions and return to a platform of peace quicker, the more mindful we are of it. This quote, and overall design, is another reminder of that.

Back to the design now, you’ll see below and in the gallery above, that the water sits at the lowest level with a courtyard surrounding it. Its the water’s location, and substance itself, that is embellished through light and shadow, and create’s Kim’s water drop.

Kim’s water drop exists through light and shadow. The water drop becomes the ‘giver,’ origin, and the void of the light and the darkness at the same time. The darkness is empty, though, it’s full of potentials for life. The courtyard of Light at the center of the museum is the most symbolic space, where the light constantly appears and disappears through an ambiguous boundary.

Via Archiplan

Via Archiplan

One more quote from Archiplan that resonates the deeper relationship between the water drop and the (to-be)built water drop:

While many marveled at the substance of the water drops set against canvas, only a few are able to recognize the water drop as merely a medium by which to reveal the surface. As the water drop reveals the surface as a medium, this museum also becomes a medium and abstracts the idea of returning to the mother earth.

And one more reason why Archiplan’s winning design resonated with me personally: the water drop courtyard brings me back to one of my first-designed houses in The Sims back in high school (when my love for architecture and design began): I put a swimming pool in an outdoor courtyard on the first level and surrounded it with two stories and balconies jutting out over the pool. My version of the water drop was purely imagined so “Sims-Tibs” can land cannonballs from the second floor balcony. Let’s just say Archiplan’s version is of higher deeper meaning.

h/t ArchDaily (more images here)