Interface Reconnect

Daeyang Gallery and House by Steven Holl Architects

Daeyang Gallery and House is made of three pavilions – each with its own distinct use – and a private gallery beneath, that use water and light to create a sense of continuity between the pavilions and the outside world, while the calm and controlled light of the gallery is the perfect environment for displaying art.

The design of Daeyang Gallery and House came from an unlikely source of inspiration; a 1967 sketch for a music score by the composer Istvan Anhalt, ‘Symphony of Modules’, which was discovered in a book by John Cage titled ‘Notations’. The dramatic result is a set of three pavilions rising above a plane of water. The shallow water brings nature into the confines of the building and delineates its different levels, helping to create a sense of arrival to the gallery that nestles below.

A natural experience

A visitor first sees this sheet of water having passed through a bamboo formed garden wall in the entry court and then ascended steps into the entrance pavilion. The water, vegetation and sky above help bring the natural world into the narrative of the building, complemented by the reddened patina of copper walls.

Inside the pavilions, strips of clear glass cut into the roof activate the red and charcoal stained wood interiors. These are animated by natural light as it changes throughout the day, and the season. And more glass strips on the floor of the pool let dappled light and rippled patterns flood onto the white plaster walls and granite floor of the gallery below.

“The play of light inspires the observer to reflect and prepare his/her senses for the encounter with art. As a result the light acquires a very different quality as well. The agitation outside is replaced by calm, meditated light in the galleries underneath. Perhaps sensations transformed themselves once they become an object of thought.”

- Yehuda Safran, The Plan

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