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  • Glass Pavilion
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Glass Pavilion Main Image

About the architecture

The design of the PLATEAU¡¯s Glass Pavilion evolved from the commitment to providing a permanent display area for The Gates of Hell and The Burghers of Calais, two works by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin.

To retain Rodin's original intent, the museum was constructed primarily of glass, which maximizes natural light and minimizes shadows. In addition to the Glass Pavilion, PLATEAU consists of two exhibition spaces for temporary exhibitions, a video room, a gift shop, and an office. PLATEAU was designed by KPF (Kohn, Pedersen & Fox), a famous architectural design firm based in New York, which was awarded the commission. KPF's chief architect and partner, William Pedersen, began the design in January 1995 and construction was finished in March 1998.

The design of the Glass Pavilion was inspired by Rodin's The Cathedral, which depicts two right hands that are curved in prayer. Specifically it was the space between the hands, with its sense of serenity that influenced the design. The sloped double glass walls of the Glass Pavilion not only establish visual coherences between the Pavilion's interior and exterior spaces and between Samsung Life Insurance Building and PLATEAU, but they also provide dynamism to the Pavilion's interior space. The translucent glass panels, which diffuse natural light, create a relaxed atmosphere and endless movement in the interior, and serenely embrace the light and shadows reflected on the surfaces of the sculptures.

At sections in the glass wall are installed clear glass 'windows,' which allow the sculptures to be visible from the street and open up urban views to the inside.

The Pavilion's ceiling, composed of gently sloped, clear and translucent glass panels, softly diffuses both natural and artificial lights throughout the interior space. The floor made of the smooth French limestone Chassagne Beige gives the space stability.A bench of the same material in front of The Gates of Hell, at the apex of the Pavilion interior, provides a crossing point between the 'frontality' of The Gates of Hell and the 'dynamicality' of The Burghers of Calais.

Commencing with City Hall and continuing through the Taepyeongno Building and Samsung Headquarters up to Samsung Life Insurance, the buildings along Taepyeongno road are linked by glass walls, street trees, stone-tiled pedestrian passages,and stainless steel columns, all of which provide a visual and architectural coherence to the site. They, moreover, emphasize the wideness of the road and smoothly continue the flow to the PLATEAU and towards Namdaemun. At night, when glass lighting attached to the columns illuminate the Glass Pavilion, the structure appears as a lamp itself bringing its beauty to a climax. Thematically, the PLATEAU was designed to provide a place of relaxation in a highly urban environment where people can visit at their convenience and appreciate Rodin's masterpieces.

Floor Plan