SOUR + Seoinn Design Group win 4th Prize at the international design competition for Geomdan Museum Library Cultural Complex

The Metropolitan City of Incheon, together with the Housing and City Development Corporation, organized an international competition for the new Geomdan Museum Library Cultural Complex. Among 75 entries from around the world that responded to the open call, SOUR, in collaboration with Seoinn Design Group, was selected among the Final 5 to present for the second stage of evaluations in front of an international jury. The jury decision was announced by the Metropolitan City of Incheon, together with its Housing and City Development Corporation, during the ceremony at the Center for Architecture and Metropolitan Planning in Incheon, South Korea. The design team led by SOUR was awarded 4th Prize.


Archeological Park, View from South
Photo credit: SOUR

The ambition of the proposal was to urge architects to a necessary paradigm shift in the making of landmark architecture, where the design criteria and form-making should be driven by the energy endurance and climate resiliency. The proposal envisages a cultural, eco-friendly community landmark housing a futuristic Library and indoor-outdoor Museum, working together to become Geomdan’s new Archeology Park: a place for nature & people to thrive and explore, and where form follows sustainability measures and environmentally responsible design.


Archeological Park, Chimneys are the new "Sexy"
Photo credit: SOUR


Archeological Park, Library Promenade
Photo credit: SOUR


Museum Library Cultural Complex, Lake Side View
Photo credit: SOUR

Climate and energy crises, the global economic downturn, and the COVID-19 pandemic urge us architects to re-evaluate our priorities and methods in the generation of signature architecture. Any and all proposals for the built environment need to present purposefully viable solutions that address issues around energy usage, material waste, supply chain inefficiencies, and carbon footprint. We, therefore had two main questions with the design of this building: How might we use low-tech strategies for the (re)discovery of sustainable landmark architecture? And how might we evolve beyond energy-intensive technologies and high-cost construction methods to generate scalable solutions in the built environment? We believe that a landmark project such as a new library and museum complex represents a great opportunity to reform landmark aesthetics to be informed by climate resilience and to rediscover low-tech strategies to generate truly sustainable architecture, and I hope we have a glimpse of what this shift can look like here.

Inanc Eray, Partner and Creative Director at SOUR

The new Geomdan Museum Library Culture complex will help kick-start the transformation of one of Incheon’s most important brownfield sites, which will eventually become home to 180,000 residents.


Archeological Park, Aerial View
Photo credit: SOUR


Archeological Park, View from Outdoor Exhibitions
Photo credit: SOUR


Archeological Park, Night Time in Seoul
Photo credit: SOUR

About SOUR

SOUR is an international award-winning architecture and design studio with the mission of addressing social and urban problems through sustainable, adaptive, and inclusive design processes. While the word SOUR is a play on the words 'social' and 'urban', the meaning describes the studio's attitude. Like the process of sourdough making, the studio believes in taking the time to research, synthesize, and ideate in order to generate data-inspired and purposeful design solutions. The world has spent enough time sugar-coating, and it's time to confront, get real, and be SOUR.