Library in Songdo

Seoul, South Korea




Cultural, Museum, Public space


Architecture, urban planning, sustainability, public space, Museum, exhibition hall, gardens , temple.


The walk through the history of Korean literature will be the backbone of this project.
The building runs along a gently sloping path down the hillside . This path winds around courtyards and widens creating different adjoining spaces. Each of the courtyards, with their gardens, creates a perfect setting for reading. In turn, the adjoining spaces will host temporary exhibitions, reading rooms, audiovisual areas, auditorium, shop and cafeteria.

A literature museum must not only be able to conserve, preserve and exhibit original volumes, it should also facilitate the reading or consultation of reproductions of these volumes. Therefore, we believe that it is necessary to have pleasant spaces for reading and study throughout the building.




From tradition to modernity. This museum presents a journey from classical to contemporary literature. The design of the space represents, in the same way, the union between the classic and the modern. The traditional scheme of the portico, typical of the Hanouk, is repeated through the curved axis that forms the backbone of the museum, creating fluid spaces typical of the most contemporary architecture.

The Hanouk scheme provides us with cross ventilation and isolation from the ground. It is a sustainable scheme that we take from the heritage of Korean tradition to apply today. This scheme is materialized with wooden porches and a tile roof. The enclosure will be
glass with wooden lattices that will allow to control the light inside. The central axis is made up of a long display shelf where the visitor can not only contemplate original volumes through a display case, but also take a reproduction of them and read it quietly in one of the museum's courtyards.
As the visitor walks through the museum's timeline, they will get to know the different spaces: pond gardens, reading areas, audiovisual exhibition area, auditorium, patio for recitals, access to classrooms and different services on the second floor, cafeteria and shop .



Manuel Alvarez-Monteserín lahoz

Juan Chacón

Santiago Pradilla


Daniele Pieralli

I don't know


Structures: Antonio Fernández Caro

Infographics: 3d Manu-Facturas

16_SECTION 01 MANU.jpg

The comic is made by Manu-Facturas. The characters that appear are from various authors found on the internet.

"Access to the museum is from the north side.
After showing the QR code with the ticket, I receive information on my mobile to be able to take the tour with additional information that will be updated.
I leave my belongings in one of the lockers located at the beginning of the tour.
This tour will begin with the origins of Korean literature.
Throughout the large display cabinet I see different old books, writing utensils, etc. At this point a first courtyard opens. This is not accessible, but from it comes the light and the smooth movement of the bamboo. It is a courtyard that refers to the Chinese origins of Korean literature.
I pass the patio, and I come to an audiovisual room where events from the classical era are recreated.
I continue the path of history until I reach a small pond. You can go out and sit around it, contemplating how the museum is reflected in it and listening to the sound of the water.
Then the museum widens again and I find an exhibition of calligraphy of the time.
Continuous. In the lower part of the display unit there are reproductions, thousands of books corresponding to each of the years or centuries that we are going through and that you can take to read in the museum. I take one about battles and go to the next yard. I go out and sit in a beautiful little garden. It reminds me of the lush gardens of the temples.
I return my book to one of the collection points and see through a glass an area where accredited people can study original volumes.
Beginning of the modern era, screens with the latest webtoons appear on the display unit. Some of them you can download for free on your mobile.
I arrive at the auditorium, I am lucky to attend the presentation of Han Kang's latest novel and have it signed for me personally!
I go out to the last garden, where there is a group of people sitting in the stands, listening to a poetry recital. I feel that Korean literature is more alive than ever.
At the end of the tour I find a shop and a small cafeteria that have a pleasant terrace in the shade of the trees where the hillside starts. I sit down and have a tea while assimilating everything I have learned.
A porticoed path leads me to the exit, while I go down I think about how the Korean woman has gradually gained relevance in literature, how the topics that have been written have evolved, and I wonder how it will evolve in the future. "



Architect (Team Leader):

Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz

Local partner:



Manuel A. Monteserín Lahoz

Lucia de Ancos

Virginia Herrera


3D images: Manu-invoices

Comic images: Manu-invoices

Parametric modeling: Nacho Monereo