A Park Of Concrete Monoliths Designed By Álvaro Siza And Carlos Castanheira

Designed by the studios of Álvaro Siza Vieira and Carlos Castanheira, ‘Saya Park’ is an ongoing architectural project in which spaces have been designed to amplify the beauty of their natural surrounds in the woodlands of South Korea.

“There are projects that are born both out of their site and for it. There are projects that create the site for themselves”, explains Castanheira of ‘Saya Park’. The project seems a mixture of these two sentiments: the forested area seems simultaneously alien to, and in harmony with, the sculptural constructions that populate it. At present, ‘Saya Park’ consists of an art pavilion and a chapel, and a soon-to-be-finished observatory. These board marked concrete monoliths play on light and shadow, their forms placed with care at different points of the site. The art pavilion stands atop a hill, as its name implies, this sculptural concrete building is home to gallery spaces and a library. Outside, the high concrete walls give way to the forest, the textural quality of the building stands in elegant contrast to the surrounding trees. The chapel was designed because of the symbols of meditation and introspection that the architects identified in the landscape of the site. In light of this external beauty, a space of “internal beauty” was deemed necessary. The building sits tucked into the hillside, opening to the east and the light of a new day. The observatory is a tower that, once completed, will offer views from a south-facing balcony across the forested valley to the mountains beyond.

“There are projects that are born both out of their site and for it. There are projects that create the site for themselves”

All images © Fernando Guerra