Located in District 2 block 9, Mum is an English education company having a logo where an owl with big black eyes appears on a yellow background. The logo has a story of the adventure, challenge and passion of a yellow owl Mu; which sets out to search for the 13th planet of the solar system, the last uncharted planet M. Impressed by the logo, the architect, in the early stage of design, suggested a nest-shape building as he wanted to introduce a space where the owl can rest comfortably. However, in the end, the building is finalized in the form of a stump looking naturally settled down on the ground.
Entirely covered with black brick, the building has a twisted rectangular shape, and its entrance defined by the incised surface of the distorted structure makes it difficult to distinguish between the front and the back. In contrast to the torn entrance, 2m×2m large windows are installed as openings in order to enhance the sense of openness on the lower floors. To block out the excessive light flowing into the upper floors, the architect designed lintels to be closed gradually rather than installing smaller windows on those floors. And by using the twisted form and repetitive wall pattern, the architect gave a sense of rhythm to the black building which can look plain.
Narrative is everywhere! We have to admit we didn’t associate the building with an owl at first, but with a little context the features pop out at us.
About the Architects
Young Jang, AIA, received his Master of Architecture from University of California, Berkeley after received Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Hongik University in Korea. He worked at Iroje Architects and Planners, Seoul, Korea, and Rafael Vinoly Architects, and Steven Holl Architects, New York.
Sook Hee Chun, AIA, received her Master of Architecture from Princeton University after received BS in Architecture from Ewha Womans University in Korea. She worked at Iroje Architects and Planners, Seoul, Korea, and Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, New York.
After Jointly establishing WISE Architecture in 2008, the two completed several small but meaningful projects focusing on materiality of everydayness in Seoul. They have also participated in many architectural cross over activities such as planning and executing ’Hong Ti Public Art project” in Busan in collaboration with other artists. Recently completed “Dialogue in the Dark” Buchon, Seoul. They won The Seoul City Architectural Prize with “The Museum of War & Women Human Rights” in 2012 and 2011 the 4th Korean Young Architects Awards.
Do you love or loathe this work of contemporary brick architecture? Let us know in the comments.