The Nogunri Peace Museum, located in South Korea, was designed to remember the victims of the Nogunri Massacre. Designed by METAA, the design embraces an individualstic and bold approach using specially cut triangular metal plates to cover two of the building sides.
This, of course, is my favorite aspect in the design, amongst other things. It’s not every day you wake up and you see a building covered in part or in full with metal sheets. While I would love to analyse the other aspects of the design, the focus here is actually the facade, I appreciate the architects choice to use this material. Its striking, imposing, ingenious and is very fitting for such an iconic and historical building. While they could have used a trending material in South Korea, (In Nigeria, ‘rectilinear’ alucobond is topping the charts right now), they used one that is not common place internationally, talk less of South Korea. See below;
The argument may arise that such metal plates are prone to corrosion on exposure to oxygen, and hence, aren’t sustainable enough. While the first part is true, the second part is very relative. First, just like wood that needs to be treated to be used outdoors, there are also several treatments available to prevent metal plates from corroding/oxidizing. Secondly, not all metals exposed to the elements corrode, or better yet, some metals corrode over a very long period of time which makes them quite sustainable. Fourthly, it depends on what you want to achieve by using them. If your aim is to create a natural look and habitat for natural organisms as the plates age, then sustainability in terms of life span isn’t an issue. In fact, I find it incredibly interesting and quirky, and a welcome alternative, like in this project here. On another note, when some metals are exposed to oxygen, rather than continue corroding, the oxide formed on the surface becomes a protective cover for the metal.
My opinion is not that using metal is void of any challenge at all, but that the difficulties encountered aren’t void of solutions. That’s where research and creativity come in. You just have to figure out the way to work around them, providing sustainable solutions that would work perfectly for your project.