Mimesis Museum
Álvaro Siza's Mimesis Museum in South Korea is a modern art gallery for a collector and art-book publisher. The museum – in Paju Book City, a remarkable new town 30km outside of Seoul dedicated to the publishing industry (icon 057) – is a concrete building with a sinuous two-winged plan that curves around a courtyard, with sheer, almost windowless walls facing the surrounding cherry trees. "In general it's very closed, most of the light comes from the roof," says Siza. 

Paju Book City was originally masterplanned by Florian Beigel and the Architecture Research Unit in 1999, and is already known as an architectural showcase. No doubt a building by Siza is a welcome addition to this landscape, but it does present its own difficulties: "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," says Siza, referring to the problem of building for a new town where your neighbours haven't even been designed yet. 

This might partly explain the inward character of the building, but how did Siza determine the form? "I wanted a kind of courtyard, but I didn't want to make a quiet court, so it became a continuous, round form. You look and see one builÁlvaro Siza's Mimesis Museum in South Korea is a modern art gallery for a collector and art-book publisher. The museum – in Paju Book City, a remarkable new town 30km outside of Seoul dedicated to the publishing industry (icon 057) – is a concrete building with a sinuous two-winged plan that curves around a courtyard, with sheer, almost windowless walls facing the surrounding cherry trees. "In general it's very closed, most of the light comes from the roof," says Siza. 
Paju Book City was originally masterplanned by Florian Beigel and the Architecture Research Unit in 1999, and is already known as an architectural showcase. No doubt a building by Siza is a welcome addition to this landscape, but it does present its own difficulties: "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," says Siza, referring to the problem of building for a new town where your neighbours haven't even been designed yet. 
This might partly explain the inward character of the building, but how did Siza determine the form? "I wanted a kind of courtyard, but I didn't want to make a quiet court, so it became a continuous, round form. You look and see one buil...

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