National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
30 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong, Seoul
Co-organizers: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea / The Museum of Modern Art, New York / Hyundai Card
Young Architects Program MMCA 2017
In association with the Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA) and Hyundai Card, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea (MMCA) presents Young Architects Program 2017, an architecture exhibition that discovers and promotes young Korean architects. Each year, Korea’s most promising young architects are invited to submit their innovative designs, competing for the chance to see their projects realized in the madang (courtyard) of MMCA. In 2014, MMCA Seoul became the first museum in Asia to offer the program. Now in its fourth year at MMCA, YAP asked young architects to submit designs based on three keywords: shelter, shade, and water. The winning architect (or team) then gets to develop and execute the proposed project at MMCA Seoul, transforming the museum’s madang into an entirely new space. This year, Young Architects Program 2017 extends beyond the madang into the interior of the museum, with a corresponding exhibition in Gallery 8. Inside the gallery, viewers can appreciate the winning designs from other participating museums, as well as the full proposals from all five finalists in Korea, including their models, sketches, drawings, objects, and images. Visitors will also get an inside look at the planning and preparation stages of an architectural structure, which fully conveys creativity of these young architects. By granting young Korean architects a unique chance to enhance their capacities, Young Architects Program 2017 provides a compelling glimpse of the future direction of Korean architecture. As such, it is no surprise that YAP has quickly established itself as MMCA’s representative architecture project, as well as a beloved summer event for the entire city of Seoul.
This year’s winning architect is Soo-in Yang for his project Centreefugal Park. Yang envisioned a pop-up park that would arise temporarily in the urban center as an oasis from the hot summer. To this end, he devised an environmentally friendly structure that is light, inexpensive, and easy to install. The result is a collection of tree-shaped structures—called “Centreefuges”—that form a forest in the museum’s madang. Although they closely resemble natural trees, the Centreefuges are equipped with a simple engine that allows them to billow and unfold as they are set in motion. By adjusting their motors’ rotation, the tree-shaped structures can be flattened into the shape of an umbrella to provide shade and shelter from the sweltering summer heat. Spinning at variable speeds, the Centreefuges also produce cool breezes and cast myriad shadows that shift and move along with the sun. To find shade, visitors can freely rearrange benches and platforms around the Centreefuges, which thus offer an element of “play” as well as “rest.” Yang proposed Centreefugal Park not simply as a structure to be looked at and admired, but as a refreshing summer park that embraces visitors with plants, wind, and water. With the Centreefuges, along with small rock hills, sand playgrounds, and ponds, Centreefugal Park is a wonderful summer venue enjoyed by all citizens and visitors who are strolling through downtown Seoul.