The Mimesis Museum, housing a book publisher’s private art collection, is located in Paju Book City, a new town 30 km from Seoul.
The flowing concrete form, that wraps around a central courtyard, was inspired by a sketch of a cat that Siza drew upon arriving at the site.
|With that sketch, the idea for the building was there, drawn in one movement, one gesture|
The walls are almost windowless with most of the light coming through rafted ceilings, whose shapes form a counterpoint to the curved walls, with skylights spilling out from over their edges. The walls and ceilings are whitewashed, the floors marble and oak.
The three-story building has services in the basement, temporary exhibition galleries and reception on the ground floor, overlooked by a mezzanine with a cafeteria and staff area, and the main exhibition spaces on the first floor.
Paju Book City was designed in 1999 by the Architecture Research Unit dedicated to the publishing industry.
|I didn’t have as much context as I would like with which I could create a dialogue, I only had a site plan, so I had to concentrate on creating an atmosphere for the building.|
|/Álvaro Siza (Referring to the problem of building for a new town where your neighbors haven’t even been designed yet.)|