Daeyang Gallery and House | The Plan
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Daeyang Gallery and House

Steven Holl Architects

South Korea developed rapidly in the years following the North-South War. An ancient culture redolent with ritual and a deep respect for the rule of law gave rise to conditions favourable to a highly disciplined industrial society. In the centre of these developments are several families and individuals who have made their mark on this advanced culture of industrial production. Daeyang have made a name for themselves in the field of seagoing vessels that they repair and fit, servicing ocean-going ships just about everywhere in the world. It is not surprising that with this economic success, the desire to match their social status with a strong cultural profile inevitably developed. As a result they focused on the creation of an art collection that could make them proud. At this point they were looking for an architect to house their collection together with a residence for the Chairman. The site selected is in the hills of the Kangbuk section of Seoul, just above the city, which traditionally provided diplomats and leaders of the community with their residential quarter. Few architects can apply themselves to an elementary diagram from which an entire project can rise, Phoenix-like from the ashes, as Steven Holl has done again and again. From the Stretto House (1999) inspired by Bartok’s music for strings, to the Sarphatistraat Offices in Amsterdam, where Morton Feldman’s Patterns in a ChromaticField provided the matrix for the application of the “Menger Sponge” to determine the openings in the membrane, Holl has often responded to contemporary music and its scores. Indeed, modern composers have invented an immense variety of scores to enable them to produce musical experiences without precedent. Holl has always been ready to embrace this source. The Daeyang house is the result of just such a diagram. The sketch for the score Symphony of Modules by Istvan Anhalt (1967, Montreal) provided the initial point of departure for this project....

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