How can we achieve the design vision of a sustainable museum park?

National Museum of Korea
Jinju-si, South Korea

Today we are living in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world. Climate and energy crises, the global economic downturn, and the COVID-19 pandemic urge us architects to re-evaluate our priorities and methods in the generation of signature architecture. High-tech dependent, Starchitect-led visions for architectural landmarks are no longer viable nor sustainable.

Any and all proposals for the built environment for the future need to present purposefully viable solutions that address issues around energy usage, material waste, supply chain inefficiencies, and carbon footprint.

We believe, Jinju’s New National Museum project presents an excellent opportunity to reimagine landmark aesthetics by incorporating climate resilience and rediscovering low-tech strategies for sustainable architecture.

This proposal aims to not only connect and integrate the urban space with Jinju’s natural landscape on a morphological level but also to revive historically proven yet often overlooked construction methods that promote energy endurance and climate resiliency.

The proposal therefore becomes fully immersed in history, nature and “archeology” of architecture. What better fit to create a museum park, in the form of a national museum that will become a national archival complex for the region and a unique public building.

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The main principle of the proposal is to ensure a seamlessly integrated museum river delta park that will house the new national museum in order to support activities for all visitors and local residents. Therefore, designing a seamless urban park and connecting the project site with the Railroad Culture Park on the South, the new Science Museum on the north through the Forrest City Plaza Park was key.

To establish this connection, a meandering “River” (water feature) is designed from North to South, transcending the urban space and moving in and out of the new Museum Building blurring the indoor and outdoor boundaries, like the traditional Korean Hanok House.

Forrest City Plaza (Zone A) on the East is designed as a Public Square to house the main gatherings of the city of Jinju. In support of this urban meeting point, Public Parking spaces are designed at easy reach.


The proposal for this new urban landmark prioritizes low-tech sustainability measures and environmentally responsible design. The form is not about making form for the sake of form, but rather it is making an architectural image through climate impact design. So is the form of the building directly connected to the sustainability of the building, to keep natural performance low.

Embracing biophilic design principles, curvilinear forms have been developed to accommodate exhibition areas, educational spaces, and children areas that are integrated through a generous naturally lit lobby space.

Sustainability is a central focus of the design, with underground concrete structures minimizing the building’s visual impact. Wood is used for the roof and façade materials, creating a warm and natural aesthetic that harmonizes with the surrounding environment.

The Roof will be constructed with a double skinned Wood facade and sandwiched Beams. Through the outer and inner facade, a void allows for air to flow through. The height of these spaces achieves optimal circulation for hot and cold air to flow around the spaces for natural ventilation and climate control of the space with principles of a “wind catcher” for free cooling. To maximize efficience, building mass is oriented towards the prevailing wind direction.

A similar concept of letting air flow through between building elements repeats in the double-slab construction of the looby roof, where an “air pillow” allowing for air to flow through for natural ventilation.

This airflow, is strategically located behind the PV panels, that will ventilate the panels as well to increase the efficiency of the system.


By seamlessly blending indoor and outdoor spaces, the courtyards harmonize with the interior exhibitions, offices, halls, workshops, and food facilities. These courtyards serve as alternative outdoor exhibition opportunities offering diverse experiences and accommodating the needs of neurodiverse individuals.

Exhibition Pavilions, multipurpose halls and the courtyards are flexibly designed to have seasonal or day/night activities, meaning that the building will be able to run multiple events simultaneously. This will also make the facility self-sufficient and economically viable.The Art Pieces that will be moving from the existing museum, such as the 3 story Pagoda and the large scale Buddha Display, are located in the lobby area as well as in the outdoor courtyard. These exterior courtyards provide opportunities for exploration, play, and relaxation within the natural surroundings.

A cluster of museum spaces provides connectivity and porosity with the park, featuring diverse height structures that create a distinctive silhouette, making the museum a unique landmark that will attract visitors for years to come.


The goal is to create a versatile and low maintenance Museum that is able to adapt and evolve, and works with the natural elements.

Upon entering the River Delta project, visitors are greeted with historical relics and excavations, immersing them in the rich heritage of Jinju and South Korea. The exhibition spaces inside the building offer immersive experiences, utilizing cutting-edge technology to interact with the history and artifacts of the region.

The main lobby serves as a vital link between the National Museum and the Children Museum, ensuring easy access for visitors of all ages. It creates a tranquil atmosphere with a large screen showcasing the prominent Buddha artwork, complemented by a waterfall positioned behind it.

The spatial organization of the building features a single floor, with the basement housing technical areas and storage. On the ground floor, parking facilities and buses are located, while the mezzanine floor accommodates offices.

There are 125 parking spaces in the ground floor. 10 of these spaces are dedicated to administrative Staff. THere are extra 5 Bus parking areas. All Parking spaces has disabled parking and EV charging units as well.

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Project Info
Project Name:
Jinju Museum Park & National Museum
Jinju-si, South Korea
20000 sqm
Concept Design
National Museum of Korea
Cultural Building
War and History Museum
Project Credits
SOUR, Seoinn Design Group
Inanc Eray with Dong Kyu Choi
Design Team:
Pinar Guvenc, Alex Yoocheol Choi, Merve Guven, Mariana Evangelista, Roman Gutu, Marianne de Zeeuw, Lee Kyongmin, Myeonghwan Oh, Pinar Gursoy, Merve Akbay, Irem Gocmenoglu, Derin Sahin, Nicholas Doghlass, Gamze Gurgenc, Hitakshi Agrawal

Visualization: Inanc Eray with David Rossman (Felix Render)