Progress is finally advancing on the Korean Cultural Center of NYC, at 122-126 East 32nd Street. Located in the Midtown neighborhood of Murray Hill, on East 32nd Street between Lexington and Park, construction began on June 28th with a panel of dignitaries who attended the groundbreaking event. The building will be designed by SAMOO Architecture PC, and is being developed by Young Park, of Level Group. The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea, NY, purchased the site for $15.8 million back in March 2008, which included nearly 4,500 square feet of air rights from the neighboring four-story building.
The current location for the Korean Cultural Center of NYC is found on the sixth floor of 460 Park Avenue on 57th Street, established back in 1979. Since then, it has seen 14 directors, including the current director Seung Je Oh. 2019 will mark its 40th year in New York City. Looking at their main website, The Korean Cultural Center New York will be established and working to:
“promote Korean culture and aesthetics in New York via diverse cultural and artistic activities including gallery exhibitions, performing arts concerts, film festivals, and educational programs.”
Previous zoning diagrams from 2013, before the building design was updated, showed that there would have been around 36,500 square feet of interior space and that the structure would stand 120 feet and seven stories, including a basement level.
Renderings for the new building show a very intriguing design of curved interiors walls, wooden floors, and spacious multi-story interiors, all of which will be clearly visible from the streets through a facade of glass woven into a grid-framing structure. There will also be an outdoor terrace on the side of the building, surrounded by landscaping.
It will be a very distinct and unique building in the local neighborhood, and New York City for that matter. The design goes beyond the standard four walls, extruding itself upwards and outwards and breaking through the flat ceiling, to create elegant curves and gestures of movement from its bottom to the very top.
The new cultural center will be complete in 2020, providing larger space for exhibitions in the near future.