When you go to a museum, you expect to explore some interesting things. With Mass Studies’ trio of new buildings at the O’Sulloc Tea Museum, the most interesting thing to see might be the museum itself.
Mass Studies is an architectural studio founded in 2003 by Minsuk Cho in Seoul, Korea. It is known for focusing on the complexity of contrasting elements such as the past vs. future, local vs. global, and individual vs. collective. The studio was tasked with adding three pavilions to the O’Sulloc Tea Museum, which houses the history of Korea’s traditional tea culture. What they designed are examples of their exploration of contrasts.
As opposed to the museum’s circular main building, the three pavilions are rectangular with similar sizes and proportions. The first one, The Tea Stone, is a two-story concrete building with new exhibition spaces and classrooms where tea ceremonies can be held. The architects compare the dark exterior to “a black ink-stone” and it does a great job of exposing the outside, while containing the internal lighting. Innisfree is the second pavilion and is home to a shop and café. Designed to be a “forest gallery,” it is as open to the forest as possible, with the surrounding walls made of glass. Timber panels add a rough texture to the pavilion’s façade. Finally, the Innisfree Annex is the last pavilion, and is used for staff and storage areas. With walls made of stone, it easily blends into its surroundings.
Do you love or hate the architectural designs from Mass Studies? Let us know your opinion in the comments.