The Asia Culture Center occupies the historically important site of the May 18 uprisings that led to Korean democracy. Kyu Sung Woo’s daring design, selected through open international competition, transforms and preserves the site by placing large portions of the cultural program below grade, with many natural light connections to the park above, and underground connection to public transit. The vast ACC encompasses 140,000 square meters (1.5 million square feet) of program space divided among five linked buildings: ACC Children, ACC Culture Exchange, ACC Creation, ACC Archive & Research, and ACC Theater.
The ACC includes four major performance spaces: a large flexible 1,800-seat theater that opens to an outdoor plaza, a traditional 600-seat proscenium theater, an outdoor amphitheatre, and a small children’s theater. Each of these received close attention to acoustics to provide clear and intimate conditions for many forms of performance. The 1,800-seat Grand Performance Hall supports an impressive range of activities with its highly configurable design and connection to the outdoors.
The many public spaces, including lobbies, galleries, and libraries, were designed for control of reverberation and noise, as were the many teaching, office, and research spaces. Sound isolation among the many spaces was a major focus, as was consideration of noise from the public transit tunnel.