Book Published by Spacetime, September 2013
Vertical Museum is the second installment in the “Vertical” series produced by Professor Peter W. Ferretto’s Design Studio at Seoul National University. The first publications focused on the idea of Vertical Urbanism, exploring the idea of creating an alternative urban approach that could address the constant expansion of the metropolis towards the suburbs and in the process prevent the steady eroding and eradication of the precious land that we generically label as nature.
Vertical Museum, in contrast is a more focused exercise in creating a New Vertical Museum typology, itself a quasi-contradiction as contemporary museums seem to be ever expanding and Art by default getting larger to the extent that the Art pieces today are understood more as an installation that an individual piece.
The goal of the studio was to formulate various hypotheses for vertical cultural structures, rather than find concrete architectural solutions. The site for the project was the abandoned old British Police Station in the heart of Hong Kong. HK was selected both because of its vertiginous building-scape and an extreme density that together create a unique urban setting to test the student’s theories.
“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outré results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”
A Case of Identity, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Seoul National University, Sept. 2013