New Gallery For Hongik University
Hongik University is famous for its design and architecture programs. 8 design related departments: architecture, interior architecture, visual, industrial, ceramic, jewelry, fashion, woodworking design, hold graduation exhibition annually. These exhibitions are held at the university HOMA (Hongik Museum of Modern Art) galleries. However, the existing gallery at Hongik University is located inside the school grounds and different exhibitions of different departments share one space allowing only for a short amount of time.
I wanted to create a flagship gallery for Hongik University Design where there is a dedicated space for every department so that the exhibition is held not only for a limited period, but permanently, renewing every semester. Instead of having layers of slabs, each department was given an independent mass and the exhibition area allocated to each department was distributed proportionally to its size (number of students). These masses were than stacked to form a cluster of galleries with a public park on top, sunken garden on the bottom. The independent galleries lean toward each other which gives itself a firm structural integrity and dynamic spacial experience.
Minimizing hierarchy between different masses were critical to designing the gallery since every major was to be treated equal. since every gallery couldn’t be located on the same level, circulation throughout the building was very important. The above sketch describes the solution that I came up with. The sketched diagram depicts 9 squares that represents 9 masses (A,B,C,.. and so on...). Boxes on the far left and right which are both named ‘A’ meaning that they are the same, and are circulating. There are total three cores and accessing each masses from these cores had to be done directly. If in order to reach any one of the masses the visitor had to go through another one, there will be a sequence between different majors therefore creating a hierarchy. In order to solve this problem, the masses were arranged so the masses each have their own direct passage to the cores. To achieve this, a bridge like viewing deck was inserted inside the masses. From here visitors can quickly pass other exhibitions reaching destination with ease. Majors that are relatively popular among others are located at the higher layer so that the visitors passing through the viewing decks can indirectly experience the more unpopular exhibitions, alternatively leading to increase in the viewers. The external form may seem like a combination of chaotic masses, but the internal circulation was constructed as simple as possible, giving a constantly changing space and diverse possibilities of exploration.
Massing Distribution Using Galapagos In Grasshopper
I had to come up with a logical solution to place the gallery masses. A grasshopper algorithm, using genetic algorithm component, that can yield the maximum amount of natural light penetrating into the underground garden, was devised. Consequently, I was able to come up with numerous mass layouts that I could begin with. Of the 40 or so candidates,
I adopted a proposal that would be best suited to the context of the site and would be most spatially interesting. I decided on the most ideal form, both structurally and aesthetically, through modifications large and small. Masses were overlaid with each other to give the building its structural integrity because individual masses were structured and supported by conveying loads to each other, resembling arch structures. It may seem like a cluster of independent masses, but in fact it is designed to be closely weaved. In addition, related departments, such as the department of Interior Architecture and Architecture / department of Visual Design and the Industrial Design, were clustered together.