March 11, 2023
Seeing Tadao Ando Architecture in South Korea
South Korea has a wealth of interesting architectural monuments and sites. Among the most notable for lovers of modern design are by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
Artisans of Leisure can arrange for travelers on our private South Korea tours to experience Ando’s work around Seoul and on beautiful Jeju Island.
Museum SAN is a great private excursion from Seoul. Completed in 2013, the museum complex is a series of angular stone, glass and concrete structures set among pools of water in a rural, mountainous setting.
Highlights of the Museum SAN collection include five permanent installations by acclaimed American light-and-space artist James Turrell. The museum complex also has a flower garden, a water garden, a meditation hall and exhibition spaces displaying fine art and paper art and crafts.
Another favorite spot in the complex is the cafe terrace, which has views of the nearby mountains.
Ando enthusiasts will also want to visit Jeju Island, where three of the architect’s works are placed among the unusual, UNESCO-listed volcanic landscapes of this Korean vacation destination.
Ando designed the Glass House and Genius Loci (both completed in 2008) as part of the Phoenix Island resort complex. Constructed of glass and concrete, Glass House is a restaurant and observation deck on a seaside hillock with panoramic views over the sea to Seongsan Ilchulbong (Sunrise Peak), a volcanic tuff cone and scenic highlight of Jeju Island.
The neighboring Genius Loci, in contrast, is a low-rise and subterranean structure. On the surface are a plaza, a soothing water feature and walls where rough volcanic rocks contrast with Ando’s typically smooth concrete.
Stairs lead to an underground space that showcases the Yumin Art Nouveau Collection of colorful Art Nouveau glass pieces by Emile Galle, Rene Lalique and others.
Also on Jeju Island is the Ando-designed Bonte Museum (2012). This glass-and-concrete structure showcases traditional and contemporary Korean art and crafts, including furniture, ceramics, textiles and more.
Contact Artisans of Leisure to begin planning a private customized tour of South Korea that features Tadao Ando and other favorite contemporary art and architecture works throughout the country.