Jeju Island is known for its outstanding aesthetic beauty — it’s an area that bears testament to the compelling natural history of our planet. Listed as a UNESCO site, the island will soon be host to a new World Natural Heritage Center. The center is anticipated to become a meeting place set to educate and promote the importance of preserving the island and its heritage for future generations to come.

As one would rightly assume, building on a UNESCO site is a delicate issue. Designed by Kyungam Architects and Sun Architects & Engineers, the structure fits amicably within the existing landscape, following the natural undulations of the surrounding hills and volcanic mountains. The outer walls utilize Materuak Hyunmuam, a local material, and the building features a large open cut roof and glass windows that improve natural light and ventilation.

The World Natural Heritage Center will consist of areas dedicated to exhibition, education, research, and maintenance. The building will be crowned with an expansive green roof that accounts for the displacement of the existing vegetation of the site, while providing panoramic views of the much celebrated Halla-san Volcano.

The overall site was designed to harmonize with the surrounding village and maintains a view of the geomunoreum volcano. a key component of the architectural plan was to imbue as little damage as possible to the existing trees and topology.

The structure consists of zones dedicated to exhibition, education, research and maintenance.  The education area is made with moveable partitions customizable for multi-purpose usage. The office area was intentionally centered within the building to allow for more effective management of the center's various facilities. the research area with its separate outdoor deck is placed furthest away from the center to provide a quiet atmosphere for researchers. Other amenities such as the cafeteria and observatory were placed on the top floor to allow for nice view and a place of leisure.

Elevation: the motif of the elevation was drawn from the natural topological flow of the jeju's volcanic mountains. the outer wall uses a local materuak hyunmuam, a local material and the interior walls are made of glass to create a more open space.

Section: the heritage center uses a 9m height level and has a large open cut roof that provides natural light and air to the underground levels.

location: jeju, koreasite area: 40, 404.00 m2 building area: 4,360.15 m2
gross floor area: 6, 918.41m2
building coverage ratio: 10.79%
gross floor ratio: 6.99%
building scale: b1~2f
use: mixed cultural facilities

Kyungam Architects

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