Han Kook Architects created the Pavillion; the Dream of the Butterfly, a space that is intended to express all things while maintaining a wariness to infinite knowledge.
This project was short-listed for a 2021 International Architecture Award from The Chicago Athenaeum and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.
Down the Korean peninsula, in the county of Hampyeong, a beloved spring butterfly festival alights upon the hometown of a venerated Daoist philosopher.
Concluding a distinguished career at a prominent Korean university, this newly retired professor envisioned a return home and a gathering place for the creation of philosophies and the celebration of the humanities.
The resulting architecture is a multi-purpose hall designed to facilitate lectures, seminars, art performances, and social gatherings. The heart of this vision, the ‘Dream of the Butterfly’, is integrated with the client’s ‘New Words, New Gestures’.
The former is the key theme of Zhuangzi Daoist philosophy, while the latter is the client’s own new life philosophy and artistic paradigm.
In respect to this, the architect imagined a visually harmonious pavilion as light as a butterfly with the underlying architectural vocabulary of an endless overlap of boundaries.
In line with Daoist philosophy, the space is intended to express all things while maintaining a wariness to infinite knowledge.
The architect strove to give voice to this philosophy in each element of the pavilion: a light roof structure, the emulation of a butterfly wing, tops a colonnade of tranquil paper columns; the subtle spotlighting between them emphasizing individual freedom, a sense of ascension expressed in their verticality; a multitude of hollow blocks standing arrayed shoulder to shoulder in a long silent wall, seemingly a trove of individual stories.
Repeated along the architecture, unchanging columns mirror the fundamentally unchanging nature of reality.
The light-permeable gaps between them seek to convey the Daoist philosophy of the cosmos; a composition of energy.
The smooth curving plan form rests perpendicular to the road, and thus, respecting the philosopher’s devotion to modesty, the full length of the pavilion cannot be perceived from beyond the property.
The colors, textures, and lighting of the floor and walls take inspiration from the enduring nature and philosophy of Lao-tzu, the great philosopher and founder of Daoism.
The architect was inspired by my client’s conviction that philosophical thinking should serve as wings to the enhancement of humankind’s universal value and so offer this design with the hope that the philosopher’s dream of becoming a butterfly will nurture new ways of being for people to become ever more compassionate and vibrant.
The architect and the philosopher joyfully celebrate this inflection point where the dream of one emerges as an offering for many; the Dream of the Butterfly.
Project: The Pavilion; Dream of the Butterfly
Architects: Han Kook Architects, KACI
Contractor: Hyeyoon INT
Photographers: Jongoh Kim