Design Vanguard 2020: N H D M Architects
Partners in life and in work, Nahyun Hwang and David Moon believe in the agency of architecture to address today’s complex social, political, cultural, and environmental challenges. For them, the realities of contemporary cities serve not only as subjects of investigation, but as inspiration and a fertile testing ground for experimentation and transformation. Working between the borders of architecture and other disciplines, at vastly varying scales, their New York–based office engages diverse modes of practice, in many cases involving the public in different forms as a critical collaborator.
Nam June Paik Library: Inspired by artist Nam June Paik’s artistic processes and his concept of “Random Access,” N H D M designed a multifunctional spatial device and its context, which redefine the relationship between library users and information in this public art library in the Nam June Paik Art Center in Yong-In, a rapidly growing satellite of Seoul. The central structure “Library Machine” actively deploys the architectural and programmatic strategies typical of Paik’s interior artificial landscapes.
Open Ground/Flux NJP Playroom: Also within the Nam June Paik Art Center in Yong-In, but completed several years after the library, this renovation project reconfigures 12,000 square feet of the existing museum and provides the public with new ways to interpret, linger, exchange, and inhabit the institution. Open Ground (1), the new entry floor of the museum, is designed around three large-scale programmatic zones. Flux NJP Playroom (2), on the second floor, is a space for user-guided self-learning and exploration with media-integrated custom furnishing.
Wolgok Youth Platform: Despite Korea’s strong economy, almost a quarter of its population between the ages of 20 and 34 lives in informal, makeshift, and often below-standard homes. This ambitious venture, initiated by Habitat for Humanity Korea and a division of Seoul’s local government, is an experimental co-living project that combines homes for low-income youths, job-training and start-up business platforms, and public spaces, including a branch library and a park. The project explores the notion of openness and sharing in collective-housing typologies while preserving individuality and intimacy and maintaining connections to the multiple scales and operations of the city.
DESIGN STAFF: 5–7
PRINCIPALS: Nahyun Hwang and David Eugin Moon
EDUCATION: Hwang: Harvard Graduate School of Design, M.Arch., 2001; Yonsei University, B.S. in Architecture, 1996. Moon: Harvard Graduate School of Design, M.Arch., 2001; University of Michigan, B.S. in Architecture, 1998
WORK HISTORY: Hwang: James Corner Field Operations, 2004–10; Stan Allen Architect, 2003–04; Herzog & de Meuron, 2002–03; OMA, 2002. Moon: OMA, 2005–09; 1100 Architect, 2005; Shigeru Ban Architects, 2002
KEY COMPLETED PROJECTS: Interim Urbanism: Youth Dwelling City, New York, 2019; Whole Hearts, New York, 2018; Open Ground + NJP Flux Room, Nam June Paik Art Center, Yong-In, Korea, 2017; Chevy-in-the-Hole, Flint, MI, 2013; Nam June Paik Library, Yong-In, Korea, 2011
KEY CURRENT PROJECTS: Now You Belong Here, Venice; Museum of C, New York; Wolgok Youth Platform, Seoul