Explore Teo Yang’s minimalist museum design in Gyeongju

Explore Teo Yang’s minimalist museum design in Gyeongju

Seoul-based Teo Yang Studio is behind this redesign of the Gyeongju National Museum’s Silla History Gallery and lobby area, which combines Korean heritage and minimalist architecture

Teo Yang Studio has given the lobby and gallery at the Gyeongju National Museum’s Silla History wing a thorough refresh, mixing its own contemporary aesthetic and minimalist architecture with notes from the country’s rich heritage. Drawing on Korean culture, the design team worked on interpreting historical elements for the 21st century in a space that feels sophisticated, serene and welcoming. 

‘The design of the Silla History Gallery lobby aims to prove that the age-old artifacts kept in the museum can still inspire the contemporary design of the 21st century,’ explains firm principle Teo Yang. 

Gyeongju National Museum display detail

Following this concept, the geometric patterns of earthenware from the Silla Dynasty have been re-imagined as decorative wood elements for the lobby; and the dynasty’s extravagant style and luxurious precious metal ornaments have inspired the bespoke bronze lighting elements and ceiling mirrors the studio created. 

As with all Teo Yang’s work, a minimalist approach that favours perfection of detail and craft dominates. This elevates even the smallest fitting to a museum-quality piece. A sense of calmness and spatial symmetry were equally important and underpin the design solution. 

The lobby, specifically, ‘was designed to express three main messages,’ say the architects. Firstly, it functions as a space that prioritises emotional connection; then, it provides rest within an area that promotes health and is surrounded by art; and lastly, it offers a new way of viewing the centuries-old artifacts on display. 

Carefully placed furniture throughout ensures visitors can take the time to enjoy the works on show at their own pace, in a peaceful but fascinating environment. ‘We hope that the Buddha statues placed at both ends of the space, together with the scenery of Gyeongju’s Namsan Mountain, will create a mesmerising experience,’ says Teo Yang. §

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