DALSEONG GYMNASIUM

Location: Dalseong, South Korea
Type: International Competition, Honorable Mention
Structure: Concrete, Steel, Printed ETFE Membrane
Year: 2014
Team: Sina Ozbudun, Isidoro Michan, Mark Hernandez

The Dalseong Citizens Gymnasium questions the site through an aesthetic estrangement of the ground. The site in Dalseong, Korea is a mix of topographically complex natural hills with dense vegetation and a haphazard collection of generic commercial buildings. The facilities are placed into the hill in a manner that would have minimal presence as a building on the land. Instead it would look like a odd lumpy mound. This burying of the gym into the ground would take advantage of the thermal mass of the earth to balance heating and cooling and also shift the emphasis onto the roof itself, which for any long span sporting facility is a primary architectural concern. The strangeness of this aesthetic decision would only be implied through a intricate circulation route passing over and through the roof structure, but would clearly be explicated from above, from the aerial view. It is here that the landscape is revealed as completely artificial as a series of outdoor courts merge between the sculpted ground and the interweaving ribs of the building's roof. Through the mediation of contour drawing the site appears to curdle into a molten mess. The informality of the organization is challenged by two ideas about symmetry fused seamlessly into the shifting ground. The first is the axial symmetry of the roof. This is created by pathways that follow the structural beams and weave over and under each other across the axis. These paths are the collected strands moving through the landscape, filtering circulation up and over the building. The second idea regarding symmetry is found in the locally symmetrical but globally asymmetrical exterior courts. These are spaces that exist between the outside and inside, as they both fuse into the contours of the landscape and tie directly into the various auxiliary function rooms of the gym facilities. These local symmetries are subtle defamiliarizations. They can be easily overlooked, but once noticed, they have a clear figuration in the landscape. The building disappears at the level of the whole figure when seen from the street, then reappears as a loosely collected series of events in the landscape as one circulates the site. A series of scenes complete in their internal relations stitching together an ever-changing ephemeral narrative depending on the path that one chooses.

 

 
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