Steven Holl Architects has completed the Daeyang Gallery and House, located in the Sungbuk district of Seoul. Inspired by a 1967 sketch for a music score by composer Istvan Anhalt called “Symphony of Modules,” the gallery and house is a composition in sequential movement. Three pavilions—one for entry, one residence, and one event space—appear to push upward from a continuous gallery level below. A reflecting pool, which simultaneously separates and connects the pavilions, establishes the plane of reference from above and below.
After passing through a bamboo formed garden wall at the entry court, ascending steps into the entry pavilion bring the viewer at elbow height with the unifying sheet of water. Here, at the center of this place is an inner feeling with the sky, water, vegetation and the reddened patina of the copper walls all reflected in different ways.
The red and charcoal stained wood interiors of the pavilions are activated by skylight strips of clear glass that are cut into the roof. Sunlight turns and bends around the inner spaces, animating them with the changing light of each season and throughout the day. Like a cesura in music, strips of glass lenses in the base of the pool give a moment of pause, breaking through the surface to bring dappled light to the white plaster walls and white granite floor of the gallery below.
The exteriors of the pavilions are a rain screen of custom patinated copper, which ages naturally within the landscape. The Daeyang Gallery and House is heated and cooled with geothermal wells.