Kukje Gallery connects Korean artists with the world and introduces international artists to a Korean audience. It found its home in the historic urban fabric of Sogyeok-dong, a low-rise area in the northern part of Seoul. The project’s primary objective was to create excellent spaces for the display a wide diversity of works and strengthen Kukje’s presence within the art world, while sensitively integrating the arts campus in its context. Apart from a generous, day-lit space for the display of art, the building houses a 60-seat auditorium, offices, art handling facilities and storage.
SO – IL’s design for the gallery is bold yet sensitive. Considering a standard white cube too austere for the historic fabric, a custom-fabricated chainmail veil enveloped the gallery and its protruding elements. This stainless steel mesh produces a layer of diffusion in front of the actual building mass through a combination of multidirectional reflections, openness, and a moiré pattern generated through the interplay of its shadows. The bespoke facade of 510,000 metal rings is the result of a synthesis of computational processes and traditional fabrication techniques. SO – IL worked with engineers at Front Inc. to develop the façade, which was then produced at a facility in Anping, China.
Design material for Kukje Gallery has been acquired into the permanent collections of MoMA and the Art Institute of Chicago.