Just this year, record-breaking heat waves, precipitation, and typhoon have displaced many homes and workplaces in all parts of Korea. Change in humidity, average temperature, and soil composition from the impact of climate change is not only displacing humans and degrading buildings, but also threatening the well-being of crops that are slower to adapt to the changing environment. As researchers are recalibrating our seeds to become more climate resilient, the architecture of the new ARMI in Gyeongsangbuk-do must manifest our changing sentiment towards natural and artificial resource management.

In designing the project:

  1. We embrace the efficiency of industrial production.
  2. Efficiency is a tool to create a platform for the three primary users of the project, seeds, machines, and humans, to co-exist in harmony.
  3. Harmonized efficiency is not an intangible descriptor but must be manifested in a transcendent built form.

Unlike the typical ARMI facilities in Korea that are segmented around the central drying area, we combined all the programs under a single roof to create a new, more efficient building, with distinct outwardly and inwardly flow of humans, machines, and seeds.

The single roof is an aggregate of 10m wide gable roof based on the structural column grid. In situating the project on the site, the E to W axis for agricultural vehicles and the N to S axis for humans intersect at the center of the site. The volumes are placed on three of the four quadrants (NE, SW, SE), and the NW quadrant is dedicated to the seed drying field. Structurally configured in a modular system, the design aims to create an optimized system that can be constructed economically and meets the need of ARMI. The three volumes are rectangular boxes incrementally expanding in length and width depending on the program configuration and site context.

While the structural system is direct and rigid, the project’s complexity is manifested through flow, material systems, and programmatic relationships articulated within the confines of the system. The agricultural machinery facility is clustered between the office and welfare facility on the SW quadrant, and the seed production facilities are located in the two Eastern quadrants. The clustered facilities all share a vehicular corridor to consolidate service space and optimize flow. Adjacent to the N to S axis, a four-story tower comprised of staff accommodation units, a staff gym, and lounges are nestled in the grid. On the south side of the building, the volume projects out south incrementally from E to W to connect the most western bay to the history museum, while the northern edge is orthogonally defined by the two main axes.

This careful, systematic aggregation provides us the tool to organize issues of efficiency, program, and form all in one gesture. An expansive industrialized construction system that is destroying the countryside can show its new potential as an efficient unifying tool for crops, machines, and humans.

Status: Schematic Design, 2022
Location:  Uiseong, Korea