Designed by renowned Samoo Architects & Engineers, the Seoul National University Museum is a stunning testament to the harmonious fusion of history, art, and architectural brilliance. Located on Korea’s prestigious Seoul National University campus, this fascinating structure embodies the country’s rich cultural heritage and serves as a vibrant centre for artistic exploration and education (“Samoo”). Thoughtfully integrating striking design, innovative features, and historical relics, the museum showcases a seamless blend of tradition and modernity, offering visitors an immersive journey through time. This essay examines the intriguing design, exhibition space, educational commitment, and sustainability aspects of the Seoul National University Museum, revealing the intricate details behind its creation and presenting the museum in preserving and celebrating Korean heritage. 

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A Fusion of Tradition and Modernity

Known for their visionary design and sustainable approach, Samoo Architects & Engineers demonstrated their expertise in the Seoul National University Museum construction. The design concept is based on ​​seamlessly connecting the past and the present, creating a structure that respects the university’s history while respecting contemporary aesthetics (“Museum of Art Seoul Nat’l Univ.”). The museum’s façade harmoniously combines glass, steel, and concrete to create a visually dynamic experience for visitors. The expansive glass walls allow plenty of natural light to enter the room, creating a tranquil atmosphere and offering great views of the surrounding campus. A minimalist approach to design highlights the artworks and artefacts on display, allowing them to take centre stage and evoke a sense of tranquillity. 

One of the most remarkable things about the Seoul National University Museum is the seamless integration of the museum’s modern design with the historic buildings on the grounds. Samoo Architects & Engineers have managed to preserve the campus’ historical significance by skillfully integrating the existing structure into the overall museum layout (“Seoul National University Museum, Seoul”). This integration pays tribute to the past and acts as a bridge between different eras, fostering a sense of continuity and cultural appreciation. Visitors can explore the museum’s history section, where artefacts, documents, and relics shed light on Korea’s rich past. These exhibits are a testament to the university’s academic heritage and the cultural heritage of the country.

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Innovative Exhibition Spaces: A Journey through Time and Art

The Seoul National University Museum has a variety of exhibition spaces that showcase various forms of art and culture. Each gallery is carefully designed to tell a compelling story and evoke a sense of progress, taking visitors on an enchanting journey through different eras and artistic movements (“Seoul National University Museum, Seoul”).

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Staircase_Philippe Ruault

Equipped with the latest lighting and display technology, the museum’s exhibition halls provide visitors with an immersive and visually stunning experience. These flexible spaces showcase many artworks, including traditional Korean paintings, sculptures, and contemporary installations. In addition, the museum also features interactive and multimedia exhibits that allow visitors to participate interactively and educationally. These interactive elements allow visitors to explore crafts and art from different perspectives, promoting a deeper understanding and connection to the works.

Education and cultural exchange

With rich experiences and global connections, Seoul National University Museum is a place for art appreciation and an educational institution dedicated to promoting cultural exchange. We offer various educational programs, workshops, and lectures for visitors of all ages and backgrounds. These initiatives offer unique opportunities for individuals to engage with art, history, and culture in meaningful and interactive ways. By participating in these educational programs, visitors gain a deeper understanding of the artworks on display and their cultural significance. In addition, the museum actively cooperates with international organisations to organise travelling exhibitions and cultural events. In doing so, it builds a platform for global partnerships. It fosters dialogue between different artistic traditions and cultures (“Seoul National University Museum of Art observes in depth and promotes important traces and significant movements in Korean contemporary art.”). This cultural exchange enriches the visitor’s holistic experience and broadens one’s horizons and understanding of the world’s diverse art practices. 


Sustainable Design and Environmental Consciousness 

Samoo Architects & Engineers have always focused on sustainable design principles, and the Seoul National University Museum reflects their commitment to environmental awareness. The building has several eco-friendly features, such as energy-efficient systems, water-saving measures, and recycled materials. By making the most of natural ventilation and lighting, the museum reduces its reliance on artificial heating and cooling systems (“Seoul National University Museum, Seoul”). In addition, incorporating green spaces and landscaped gardens into the museum design promotes a harmonious relationship between nature and art, enhancing the visitor’s experience and connection with the environment. 


In summary, the Seoul National University Museum, designed by Samoo Architects & Engineers, is a fascinating blend of architectural brilliance, heritage preservation, and artistic exploration. The seamless blend of tradition and modernity, innovative exhibition spaces, commitment to education and cultural exchange, and sustainable design principles make this building a true gem in the Korean cultural landscape. A testament to the power of architecture to preserve and celebrate heritage, the Seoul National University Museum takes visitors on an extraordinary journey of discovery and appreciation.


“Samoo.” Samoo, 5 January 2023, Accessed 3 June 2023.

“SAMOO Architects & Engineers.” SAMOO Architects & Engineers, SAMOO Architects & Engineers, 2005, Accessed 3 June 2023.

“Seoul National University Museum Of Art.” OMA, 23 June 2009, Accessed 3 June 2023.

“Seoul National University Museum of Art observes in depth and promotes important traces and significant movements in Korean contemporary art.” Seoul National University Museum of Art, Accessed 3 June 2023.

“Seoul National University Museum, Seoul – OMA – Office for Metropolitan Architecture.” Arquitectura Viva, Accessed 3 June 2023.


Ruchi Khakurel, a fresh graduate architect, is driven to create an impact through her ideas and perception. She believes spaces as powerful storytellers that reflect the essence of people who inhabit them and seeks platforms that connect aspiring minds that comforts the soul in this impeccable field of creating art.