in korea’s south gyeongsang province, atelier KOMA has completed a monument dedicated to the life and work of son yang won — a christian preacher and martyr who was killed in 1950. the concrete museum has been conceived as a ‘symbolic space memorial’, with the building’s design and its exhibition spaces informed by the preacher’s three guiding principles of resistance, sacrifice, and reconciliation.

all images by joonhwan yoon



designed by atelier KOMA, a seoul-based firm led by lee eunseok, the memorial is contained within an opaque cylindrical ring that remains closed off from the outside world. however, internally, the building opens up to the skies above, as well as to a body of water positioned at the center of the scheme. the elevated ring is supported by a concealed concrete wall in addition to a series of pilotis, which have been dramatically arranged in a scattered formation.

the monument is dedicated to the life and work of christian preacher son yang won



visitors to the memorial must navigate a narrow circulation route that seeks to convey the ‘physical and psychological pain’ of son yang won, who forgave — and later adopted — the murderer of his two oldest sons. the museum’s configuration avoids the layout and exhibition format typical of the typology in the 21st century. instead, its architects refer to it as a sequence of spaces for remembrance, which ‘embraces the spiritual heritage of son yang won through architecture’.

the building encircles a body of water

the cylindrical ring remains closed off from the outside world

the elevated ring is supported by a concealed concrete wall in addition to a series of pilotis

visitors to the memorial must navigate a narrow circulation route

the museum’s configuration avoids typical layout and exhibition formats

the museum unfolds as a sequence of spaces for remembrance

one of the galleries has been painted a bright red

other areas of the museum are more dimly illuminated

the project is located in korea’s south gyeongsang province




project info:


name: son yang won memorial museum
architects: lee eunseok + KOMA
completed: april, 2016
built area: 1,268.06 sqm
location: gusung-ri, chilwon-myeon, haman-gun, gyeongsangnam-do, south korea
photography: joonhwan yoon


structural engineer: sen structural engineers
mechanical engineer: jusung ENG
electrical engineer: hangil engineering
construction: conerstone construction
landscape design: yun youngjo
client: son yang won memorial society










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