Toronto architectural firm Office OU has been named winner of an international contest to turn the administrative capital of South Korea into a "global culture city" with world-significant museum quarter.
Office OU beat 81 other entries from 26 countries around the world with its master plan for the National Museum Complex at Sejong City.
Created in collaboration with local firm Junglim Architecture, its plan for the 190,000 square metre site combines the diverse landscape including rice paddies, wetlands, forests and riverbanks with Korea’s Joeseon Dynasty palace architecture.
Nearly a dozen museums including ones dedicated to architecture, digital heritage, children and natural history will eventually be built in the ambitious complex.
Sejong City, located in the west of the country, is described as South Korea’s de facto administrative capital city and houses 36 government agencies and over 300,000 residents.
Office OU’s Sejong Museum Gardens will play a "crucial role" in shaping the cultural landscape of South Korea’s new metropolis.
Competition organisers said the museum complex would turn Sejong City into a "global culture city", by being a "world-class cultural complex that will be on par with Berlin’s Museuminsel, Vienna’s Museumsquartier, and Washington D.C’s Smithsonian museums".
The competition jury praised the project’s "exquisite control of space," as well as "the spatial relationship between nature and built form, which is successfully anchored in human scale".
The first phase of the project, comprised of 5 museums, is set to be completed by 2023.
Images via Office OU