More than 7 years after construction began, the Hansol Museum in Korea by Tadao Ando opened its doors to the public on may 16th, 2013.
Adjacent to the famous oak valley resort in Gangwon province, neighbouring a 250-acre forest preserve, the cultural institution is positioned on top of a mountain(275m above sea level), its hushed architecture characterized by the vast green landscape encircling it.
Upon entering the expansive 70,000 m2 site one is greeted by the flower garden where hundreds of thousands of red blooms have been planted, complimenting the enormous crimson sculpture 'for Gerald Manley Hopkins' by Mark di Suvero, which has been positioned to tower above them.
A birch tree-lined pathway leads up to a limestone wall surrounding the central building which is submerged into a water garden; visually keeping it in solitudefrom its environment. accessed only via a paved walkway which intersects an installation of Alexander Liberman's 'archway' - framing the path approaching the entrance - the use of the sedimentary rock which is abundant in the region (geographically it is home to korea's largest limestone cave) continues onto the facade of the japanese architect's design. The limestone walls continue into the exterior, flattering the chiefly concrete and glass interior.
The museum houses the art collection of Lee In-Hee, founder and adviser of Hansol group (a korean paper and chemical company) who has funded the project, for which it is also named after. the main hall features a paper gallery whose program is dedicated to the history of paper development, with exhibitions of works from Hansol's extensive collection of Korean modern art displayed in the temporary Cheong-Jo gallery. Walking through to the back of the property, one is invited into a stone garden which has been landscaped after the silla tombs - still quite prominent in the southern Gyeongju province - which take the form of stone hills, dotting the terrain. Additional sculptures by Henry Moore and George Segal's 'couple on two benches' can be found along the curving trail which ultimately brings visitors to the 'final destination', the james turrell hall where four of the american artist's work: 'Ganzfeld, 'horizon', 'skyspace', and 'wedgework', can be experienced. the museum subtly responds to its environment, uniting nature and art in a beguiling setting.