Gimpo Art Hall by G.Lab*


Seoul architects G.Lab* of Gansam Partners have unveiled their proposal for an art centre with a branch-like structure for Gimpo, South Korea.

Called Gimpo Art Hall, the design is inspired by the image of a tree, symbolising the area's agricultural history.

The bulk of the building is elevated, creating a public plaza and walkway at street level.

Visitors enter via steps up to the first floor.

Construction is due to begin in 2010.

More by G.Lab* of Gansam Partners on Dezeen: Casamoro Condominiums.

Here's some text from the architects:


Gimpo Art Hall

The proposal for the Gimpo Art Hall embraces the city’s status as an emerging regional hub while reflecting upon history and local environment.

This Art Hall aims to become a signature destination in the city.

The image of a tree was chosen to reflect  the culture of Gimpo’s agrarian past and also as a symbol of the central gathering space for the community.

The concept for the design was derived from considering the City’s History and newly found economic status in South Korea.

Situated on the southern bank of the Han River, Gimpo is a city in the process of transforming from an agricultural economy towards a contemporary consumer-based economy.

Flow and Branch:

Fluidity and Linkages describes the culture of this region.

The ability to adapt and stay the course, while connecting to and impressing upon a variety of cultures and economies are traits.

Aesthetically, the Structure sprouts from the ground, branches, multiplies, and envelopes the building Core and Nesting it above the street.

This structural-aesthetic reinforces Gimpo’s roots and modernization, while creating an interesting play on light and shadow.

The site also offers opportunities of pedestrian connectivity and guided views.

Sub-Basement Plan. Click for larger image

The Art Hall is located on the eastern end of a city block, with street access in all directions excluding the west and views toward a park and mountainscape to the south and southeast.

Basement Plan. Click for larger image

There is a pedestrian friendly walk connecting the site to the new gymnasium opposite the eastern road which is incorporated in the design. The emphasis on pedestrian access is inherent and accentuated in the design.

Ground Floor Plan. Click for larger image

Float, Cover, and Reveal:

By lifting the building mass above the street level, a covered pedestrian plaza is created. The formal Entrance is also elevated, resulting in a public viewing deck which amplifies unobstructed sightlines.

First Floor Plan. Click for larger image

The Floating Theater nested inside the building volume along with the branching facade allows for varying degrees of apertures /openings which punctuate views from the interior and reveal the city/landscape beyond.

Second Floor Plan. Click for larger image

“Growth with Elegance and Sophistication, re-imagined in the Gimpo Art Hall”

Architect: G.Lab* by Gansam Partners
Location: Gimpo, South Korea
Client: City of Gimpo
Project architect: Chuloh Jung
Design team: Youn-Sook Hwang, Lawrence V. Ha, Sang-Hyun Son, Krittin Campitak, Kyung-Mi Ahn, Namjoo Kim
Project area: 8,150 sqm
Competition Year: 2009
Construction Year: 2010
Status: Construction Documentation Phase

Third Floor Plan. Click for larger image

Posted on Thursday November 19th 2009 at 12:17 am by Ruth Hynes. Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • J

    This building does not have a “branch-like structure”- the ‘branches’, don’t even reach the ground. It has a standard columnar structure, hidden because in some of the renderings the columns have low opacity. The branches appear very heavy and dominate the exterior, but are certainly not the structurally dominant element.

  • nice building. nice sketch

  • jeanpierre

    “the design is inspired by the image of a tree, symbolising the area’s agricultural history”
    a round of applause

    i like the axis marks on the drawings, but otherwise it’s just another fancy façade on a normal building. they even got rid of the columns in the atrium on the rendering.aha.hum.

  • jzi

    it’s really impressive and cool… i love it…especially on the presentation and design…

  • heath

    isn’t this student work from columbia or sci-arc?

  • Marc Yoodo


  • Good renderings. Never thought that a perfectly black sky would ever look so appealing. I would be interested in seeing how the exterior members, mostly cosmetic, would interact with the curtain wall below. I assume the construction of the exterior is metal frame with metal panels, each uniquely shaped to follow the form.

  • anarchitect

    this is the spiderman’s house!!!

  • roman kralya

    Абалденный проект! Обажаю подобную архитектуру!
    I like it too much! Very interesting project. Looking at the pictures I want to say something like “HE IS ALIVE!” =)

  • ste

    the roof top garden is interesting… the outer structure seem to work quite well there… makes it a really “out there space” and gives some surreal context for people hanging around…
    as a facade the structure doesn’t work imho… it lacks connection to the building and its form! from the inside it is kinda disturbing… vertical structures in the inside and a curtain wall (which will have some more verticals when built!) and this organic outer structure are toooo much… feels like 3 projects mixed up.

  • Biglione

    I wanna to know, what is the software using?

  • Fabulous!

  • jr.dsgn

    This design seems too reminiscent of Zaha Hadid’s design for the Performing Arts Centre for Saadiyat Island in the United Arab Emirates, link located below.

  • Anthone

    A normal squarish building with a decorative pattern act like a structure with no reason behind.

  • roman kralya

    Does anybody know how to make pictures like WHITE and BLACK? Is it 3dmax ? or something else ?

  • John

    I can imagine the whole process. It is just wrapping subdiv maya modeling on typical office building. They try to mimic tom wiscombe and toyo ito, but they just use it as decorative stuff. They are shame on themselves. It is totally first year student level project at sci-arc or columbia.

  • m!

    If a pattern is decorative, that is its function: to decorate (and probably to block some light).

    What´s the problem if the building has an organic enclosure/envelope and a geometric structure? I think that´s just the good thing about this project.

    The black sky drawings are great.

  • oldschool

    yet another tree-branching-look-at-how-we-are project…too bad…the sketches seemed a lot more interesting and architectural too me…the renderings (though very good) simply reinforce the hollowness of incorporating a tree-branch structure as an allegory to the “agrarian culture” of the region?

    typical architecture speak for post-rationalization to me…the epitome of apriori design…

  • this is a phenomenal project – reminds me of zaha meets oma

  • john lautner

    yes. if you choose r=0 g=0 b=0 in your 3dsmax colour picker and assign it to the diffuse channel in your material editor and also set the self illumination to the same values, your material will render black, but make sure you use shadow maps instead of raytraced shadows. You also have to use final gather for your global illumination settings. This is how I would do it in max, does anyone have a clue, how it could work in Maya? Maybe with sub-ds?

  • lior

    I have mixed feeling about this building. The upper part of the building looks very experimental and dynamic but the bottom part looks so ordinary in a way it does not relates to the upper part, almost like it was done by some other architect.
    It creates uninviting and confused spaces at ground floor levels. I really think they should re-think ground floor level and soon.
    The presentations are amazing but the building need to be so too.

  • jr.dsgn
  • Wm

    Inspiring sketches, Amazing spaces. Yet somehow, I could not help from comparing it with one of Zaha hadid project in Dubai

  • horrible haridas

    ive had enoughhh of branches and trees, can we please go back to dots or lines or something?

  • epolygon

    why not! it works

  • Feels like every project ever…

  • james george

    the death of the architecture of Europe?

  • K

    Very Similar floor plan to the Ciaxa Forum in Madrid.