The new SONGEUN Building houses art spaces for the SONGEUN Art and Cultural Foundation – a non-profit organization established in 1989 – together with headquarter offices for ST International. Our experience designing contemporary museums increasingly focuses on how we can bring art and people together. How can we make a space that works for the art and the artist, for the curator and the public? When Herzog & de Meuron was commissioned to design the new SONGEUN Art Space in 2016, the ambition was clear: to create a cultural anchor that invites the public and broadens the exposure of Korean artists to the international contemporary art scene. By offering non-commercial art spaces within one of the most commercial areas of Seoul, the project aims to strengthen SONGEUN’s presence and significantly contribute to the city’s cultural topography and diversity.
The site is located on the highest point of Dosan Daero, a thoroughfare located in Cheongdam Dong in southern Seoul, renowned for its international flagship stores, restaurants, and bars. While the neighborhood mainly consists of low-rise buildings, the zoning allows for higher density towards the main street. Catalyzed by the area’s rapid transformation and densification, a myriad of volumetric strategies responding to various plot regulations sit along the street front.