Sensuous images actualized by high technology and contemporary art
Jean Nouvel, whose designs are at the junction of high technology and contemporary art, defines architecture as “space-constructing skills and image-manufacturing tasks”.
The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art’s Museum 2 envisioned Jean Nouvel’s design process.
With trees on the ground, the structure of Jean Nouvel’s Museum 2, which grandly arises from the carved ground, symbolizes the endless generation of contemporary art. The main components of the overground are exterior glass walls and rectangular cubes of various sizes.
These randomly placed exhibition boxes provide audiences brand-new exhibition experiences and contribute to visitors’ overall dynamic experience. The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art’s Museum 2 will be used as a permanent exhibition space for the works of the world’s best contemporary artists such as Donald Judd and Damien Hirst, as well as artworks by Korean modern and contemporary artists. Audiences will enter through the lobby.
Rusted stainless-steel was used, for the first time anywhere, to manufacture the exhibition boxes. Countless tests and sample analyzation were done to visualize this paradoxical concept – that rust-proof stainless-steel could be rusted. Museum 2, like contemporary art that yields new meanings from objects by observing them paradoxically, sanctifies the whole building as a gigantic art piece through materials and spaces far beyond the conventional.
Stark contrasts between transparent glasses and rusted stainless-steel panels
Museum 2’s main building materials are extra white glass of extreme transparency and rusted stainless steel panels.
Freely arranged exhibition boxes, which are projected from the glass surface, invoke substantial and unique responses because of the rusted stainless-steel panels.
Leeum architectural designer and corrosion specialist Mark Quinlan has done countless experiments to confirm that rust proof stainless-steel could be rusted, and has invented the “black-filmed stainless-steel” – the so-called “Black Patina”. The exhibition boxes, which are covered by “Black Patina”, form irregular geometric lines and, from the inside, shield exhibition spaces from the artwork; when viewed from the outside, they strengthen an impression that the building digs deep into the ground and then rises up again – because of the unique feeling of heaviness created by the metal.
Expressing the path of materials from nature by employing materials from construction sites
The concept of Museum 2 is preserving naturally formed underground wall surfaces, which were created when digging the ground to build a foundation.
In other words, the building and the ground are facing each other because the building was pushed slightly into the margin of the basement that appeared when the ground was dug.
The space between the basement wall surface and the buildings is Sunken Garden. Sunken Garden opens upwardly and receives the same amount of sunlight as the overground. The outer surface of the basement wall was built by stacking up “gabion”, which contains crushed quarried stones from construction sites in iron frames.
These iron frames and quarried stones, along with trees which arose from Sunken Garden, create a minimalistic impression.
Audiences can casually detect imprints which were made by this building from the inside and outside of the building.
Jean Nouvel has emphasized the relationship between the ground and the building in hopes that others will recognize it and sympathize with the building’s aging.
“A freely moving space” that accentuates the characteristics of contemporary art
The main exhibition hall was built as an open space without any supporting posts by employing post-tension building techniques.
“A freely moving space” was designed to offer exhibitions emphasizing the distinctiveness of contemporary art.
Further, dark exhibition boxes create a space in which light and dark are blended in harmony by allowing a ray of light to shine through the cracks of the ceiling.
The space in the middle of the floor, which is installed between two projected balcony areas visible from the first floor, is used to play videos and showcase visual media.
Museum 2, designed to be flexible to the requirements of each exhibit by controlling light, offers audiences unique and diverse experiences.