In South Korea, Siza and Castanheira have in their Saya Park complex designed an art pavilion that engages in dialogue with the woods.
The Portuguese Pritzker laureate Álvaro Siza and his compatriot Carlos Castanheira have together created the Saya Park complex in South Korea.
Composed of an observatory (under construction), a chapel, and an art pavilion, the complex adapts to the forest that surrounds it, blending into the environment. In Castanheira’s words: “There are projects that are born both out of their site and for it. There are projects that create the site for themselves.” Both architects were from the start very keen on carrying out the project on that particular site, successfully overcoming the challenges that arose in the process.
The forest pathway makes its way to the pavilion between high concrete walls, leaving behind an isolated construction devoted to study, named ‘The Library,’ and leading to an elongated volume, also of concrete, that bifurcates to adapt to the hill while negotiating the mass of trees.
The interior is sculptural, exalting elements like space, shade, and time, and also the ‘before’ and the ‘beyond’. Another protagonist is the light shining in through a series of openings strategically positioned along the pavilion. At the end of the main volume the visitor comes to a view of the landscape that stretches on to the horizon.
“Inside the space, we look for our own internal, personal infinity.
In architecture space is time.
In architecture light defines form.
In architecture the route surprises.
In architecture rough materials convey elegance.
In architecture the function is being there.
In architecture the shadow reveals the beauty.”