Los Angeles, California
The design concept for the Koreatown Gateway draws from references of the iconic Soe-Na-Moo, the red pine of Korea, to create a new entry “landscape”. The red pine is known to grow on any land, even on cliff edges and boulders, as long as there is plenty of sun. They are resilient, adaptable, and beautiful; they truly symbolize Korea. As opposed to attempting to interpret or replicate the traditional architectural tectonics or motifs, our design concept offers a new kind of an iconic symbol that is more pictorial and gestural. It can be understood as nature framing the artificial. Curved steel plates weld together to form “I” and “T” shapes form the structure of the trees. Relatively small holes cut into the steel allow for the interplay of light and shadow but do not have a significant impact on steel capacity. Foliages are created with pre-fabricated standard unit that is repeated over and over to surprisingly unique effects. Paint protects the steel from corrosion and make a highly durable structural system. Notably, steel is a highly recycled material, with 70% or more post-consumer content.