korean architect yong ju lee has installed a giant, circle-shaped piece of furniture within seoul’s hangang park. measuring 30 meters in diameter (almost 100 feet), ‘root bench’ appears to organically spread across the terrain like the roots of an enormous tree. the object allows visitors to the park to lean, sit, or lie on its sprawling ‘branches’, which are elevated above the ground at different heights.

yong ju lee root bench
yong ju lee has designed a giant, circle-shaped piece of furniture
image by kyungsub shin (also main image)

 

 

yong ju lee designed the project, which was submitted as part of the hangang art competition, using a computer algorithm that generated the bench’s three-dimensional geometry. this mathematical model, known as a reaction-diffusion system, describes the change in space and time of the concentration of one or more chemical substances. thus, the overall radial form was generated with the foreground (installation) merging into its background (grass).

yong ju lee root bench
the bench measures 30 meters in diameter (almost 100 feet)
image by yong ju lee architecture

 

 

topped with a wooden deck, the structure itself is supported by a metal frame with concrete footings. the bench comprises three different types of furniture, set at three different heights: a child’s chair (250mm), an adult’s chair (450mm), and a table (75mm). this configuration means that visitors of all shapes and sizes can occupy the bench it whatever way they want, whether they are in large groups or more intimate company. combined with the use of wood, the rhythmic form of the bench allows it to blend into its setting, blurring the boundary between artificial installation and natural environment.

yong ju lee root bench
the bench appears to organically spread across the terrain
image by yong ju lee architecture

yong ju lee root bench
the structure looks like the roots of an enormous tree
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
the object allows visitors to lean, sit, or lie on its sprawling ‘branches’
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
the setting accommodates large groups or more intimate company
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
the rhythmic form of the bench allows it to blend into its setting
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
lighting illuminates the bench by night
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
the project was originally submitted as part of the hangang art competition
image by kyungsub shin

yong ju lee root bench
‘root bench’ within seoul’s hangang park
image by kyungsub shin

 

 

project info:

 

name: root bench
architect’s firm: yong ju lee architecture
location: 302-17 ichon-dong, yongsan-gu, seoul
completion year: 2018
gross built area: 700 sqm / 7,535 sqf
lead architects: yong ju lee
design team: seung joon lee, hyeokjun dong, seongmin moon
construction: sunjin plus
client: hangang art park
photography: kyungsub shin, yong ju lee architecture