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The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art Interaction with living art

Located at Han Nam Dong on the slope of Namsan and flanked by the Hangang River, Leeum provides a uniquely harmonious view of nature and architecture. Museum 1, which occupies a site of 700 pyeong (1 pyeong is 3.3 m2.) with a total floor area of 3,000 pyeong, displays Korean traditional art, and Museum 2, on a site of 500 pyeong, with a total floor area of 1,500 pyeong, houses contemporary art. The Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, located at the entrance of Leeum, is built in an area of 1,200 pyeong with a total floor area of 3,900 pyeong. This Center is an educational facility for improving the creativity of future generations. Museum 1 and Museum 2 showcase critically acclaimed artworks. Unlike Museum 1 and 2, The Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, which has educational and exhibition functions, is a free space for contemporary and future art. Each of the three buildings was designed with innovative techniques that reflect each architect’s strong characters.

Mario Botta visualized the beauty of Korean porcelain by using terra cotta tiles, which symbolize earth and fire. Jean Nouvel used glass and rusted stainless steel, for the first time anywhere, to express high technology in contemporary art. Rem KoolHaas used unusual materials, such as black concrete, to make a black box, and designed a futuristic architectural space that appears to be floating in the air.


An innovative modern museum was built in Seoul.

  • Mario Botta image
    • Mario Botta
    • Someone in the city will be mesmerized by Leeum’s mysterious charm and will come in.
    • view
  • Jean Nouvel image
    • Jean Nouvel
    • Please listen to the story of spaces which are as diverse as the branches and roots of trees.
    • view
  • Rem Koolhaas image
    • Rem Koolhaas
    • Colorful meetings and encounters, which led to challenging inspirations, have created Leeum.
    • view

The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art is designed by three internationally acclaimed architects: Jean Nouvel, Rem Koolhaas, and Mario Botta. These three great architects of our generation, with three distinctive characters, were brought together to build one museum – a rare historical incident.

Museum 1 was designed by the Swiss architect Mario Botta and Museum 2, which stands alongside Museum 1, was designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel. These museum buildings, along with Samsung Child Education & Culture Center, compose a public cultural complex.

The three architects gained fame from their fresh visions of city culture and their unique designs. The buildings of The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, having been built over a period of 8 years (1996-2004), are a harmonious cultural complex of strongly characteristic buildings internationally recognized in modern architecture.