Daeyang Gallery and House

Designed by Steven Holl Architects with architect of record E.Rae Architects of Seoul, this unique structure serves dual purposes, as both a residential guest house as well as an art gallery for visitors. JongSeo Lee of Steven Holl Architects was the associate in charge, and the project was completed in 2011.

The structure's geometry is inspired by a 1967 sketch for a music score by the composer Istvan Anhalt, 'Symphony of Modules.' The drawing of the score was made by artist John Cage. The unusual shaped composition has now been reimagined as the plan layout of the Daeyang residence, continuing the chain from music, to art, to architecture.

This state of continued change and process informs many aspects of the building. Zahner worked closely with both the owner and the design team to develop a custom patina for the copper panel system that would match the desired coloration with natural warmth and texture. 

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Related Surface

Patinated Copper

Copper alloys, whether they are prepatinated or not, will continue to transform as the surfaces age. This happens more rapidly when exposed to moisture, sun, and pollutants. Over time, this transformation will occur at a progressively slower rate as the copper surface reaches a chemical equilibrium. For example, bronze statues, exposed to the weather for centuries, often develop a darkish "bloom" in the form of a spot or streak. These localized changes are the product of natural pollutants and the further aging of the surface.The predominant oxide to develop on the surface of copper alloys exposed to the atmosphere is cuprous oxide, Cu2O. This oxide is essentially the mineral cuprite. The color is reddish brown, but often exhibits a range of color from orange to yellow, even purples, as can be seen in the Dirty Penny copper material developed by Zahner. The minerals of copper undergo a very slow aging process, though the process is somewhat faster when near the sea. Another somewhat common mineral formation on copper alloys combines carbon dioxide and forms carbonates over the initial cuprous oxide layer. The carbonate mineral forms are malachite and azurite. These relatively uniform corrosion products are difficult to artificially create.All copper and copper alloy surfaces exposed to the atmosphere undergo changes. On a molecular level they seek various compounds from the atmosphere and readily combine with them. They actually remove pollutants from the air, albeit very slowly, by combining with sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide to form mineral compounds that effectively trap the pollutants.

Because of the unique range of tones and the material's rich aging process, copper holds a special significance in the hearts and minds of those at Zahner. The material's tone and color is perpetually in a state of flux, changing with each location based on the temperature, moisture, and pollutants in its environment.

This constant state of change will add character and soul to the gallery's surface. The custom deep red tone that was developed will likely darken over time, and eventually may even begin to green and blue. The difference between copper and other materials, is that this constant state of 'corrosion' is actually the process of forming a stunningly beautiful protective barrier which will outlast any sealer, paint, or protective coating.

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The Daeyang Gallery and House.
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View through the slats of the Daeyang Gallery entrance.
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Architect's model of the Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Front gates of the Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Detail of the copper patina for the Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Panoramic of the Daeyang Gallery and House during construction.
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Bamboo form construction for Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Copper wall panel for the Daeyang Gallery and House.
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Daeyang Gallery and House during construction.
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Installation of wall panel systems for Daeyang Gallery and House.

The custom panels were installed by local workers in Seoul, South Korea. Zahner supplied the pre-engineered panels which securely locked into the substructure. Photographs of the completed building can be viewed at Steven Holl Architects website.