Angelinos already have plenty of reasons to head to burgeoning Koreatown, where bars, restaurants, and day spas are all hospitality draws. Come 2022, the neighborhood will add a cultural anchor with the debut of the Korean American National Museum, designed by Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis.
The architectural firm recently unveiled plans for the project, a two-story building designed to suggest a piece of Korean landscape that has been transported to Los Angeles. Ergo the roof garden and terrace, which is to be planted with trees that populate the Asian peninsula, such as maple, pine, and bamboo. Below, the museum will evolve around a courtyard with galleries, meeting rooms, and offices ringing the open space. Street-front, its presence will be marked with more greenery and a patterned façade.
Founded in 1991, the museum has been housed in temporary quarters over the years. With its $4 million endowment from the state of California, it will have a permanent—and eye-catching—home on the corner of 6th Street and Vermont Avenue, becoming an epicenter for Korean exhibits, lectures, performances, and events.
Groundbreaking is slated for 2020. Eui-Sung Yi, partner and project principal, is collaborating with Mayne.