The ARC River Culture Pavilion 2012, South Korea, Daegu

The convergence of landscape, nature and technology

The ARC Pavilion is a harmonious convergence of architecture, technology and nature. Located on the peninsula joining the Nak-Dong and Guem-Ho rivers, the pavilion showcases the surrounding mountains, framed between the rivers and the sky.

Clad in an ETFE façade and sitting in a pool of water, the pavilion is in constant dialogue with nature, reflecting the environs to create an ephemeral architectural experience. Inside, an immersive multimedia exhibit features an alternating play between a natural and a virtual experience of water, sky and landscape. This experience culminates on the roof where a second pool and observation terrace provide another breathtaking panoramic view of the landscape. The pavilion is composed of a steel structure and innovative ETFE pillowed façade. The façade reflects light, color and landforms of the surrounding landscape to create an ephemeral architectural experience. The base of the pavilion sits in a pool of water that casts colored light and the movement of the water onto the ETFE shell, which in turn reflects back onto the landscape. While the external façade reflects the quality of the changing light and sky of the river landscape, the hermetic interior of the main structure houses an immersive multimedia environment illuminated only by projections of the abstracted and re-conceptualized qualities of the surrounding site. The architecture enables the visitor’s experience to be an alternating play between a ‘real’ experience of the water, sky and landscape that surrounds the building, and a virtual experience as presented through multimedia. This experience culminates on the roof where a second mirror pool and observation terrace provide yet another breathtaking panoramic view of the natural surroundings.!arc-slide-show/c18xy


Building or project owner : K-water Korea; Daelim Industrial Co., Ltd., Seoul, South Korea; Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Seoul, South Korea

Architecture : Asymptote Architecture; EGA Seoul (Local Architect)

Project artist/ concept/ design/ planning : Hani Rashid + Lise Anne Couture


Facade type and geometry (structure) : Primary Façade: Structural steel shell clad in tessellated ETFE cushions with custom pneumatic air supply system, backlit and printed with a silver moiré frit pattern, reflecting perimeter flood lighting off surrounding water. Upper/ Roof Façade: FRP Cladding on C-Channel Framing, waterproof membrane, 3-chord structural truss with integrated strip lighting at upper roof surfaces.

Kind of light creation : The ETFE is both lit from within and by reflecting colored flood lights transmitted through a mirror pool at the pavilion’s base, giving the pavilion a dynamic, color-changing façade. Strip lighting at upper roof surfaces glows at night, highlighting the architecture’s elegant curves and sinuous geometry. The illuminated ARC is also reflected onto its surroundings by the mirror pool at its base.

Resolution and transmitting behaviour : Interior plinth skylights, strip lighting along floor-plate edges, strip lighting along the spiraling circulation, and animated light from the projectors reflected from the projection screens provide an ambient atmosphere with calm, medium-to-low-level lighting optimized for viewing projection as well as specific task lighting for viewing non-projected, physical exhibition pieces.

Luminace : The ETFE pillowed façade is illuminated during dawn and at night - the ARC pavilion glows in the dark.

Urban situation : The site can be accessed by pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles, and their paths have been carefully designed to coexist without interference. The planting of trees and vegetation was carefully planned to frame highly strategic views, such as views on the two rivers, the city of Daegu, the surrounding mountains.

Participatory architecture & urban interaction