By Matt Owens
So I was perusing Arch Daily the other day which I do from time to time, and something caught my eye. As I was scrolling down the page when I saw the heading “In Progress: Kukje Art Center / SO-IL.” A couple things ran through my mind right away; where is there is an art center being built in Southern Illinois? and Arch Daily is featuring a project that is being built in Southern Illinois, cool. I was a little excited about this. That excitement only lasted for about a second, or about the time it took me to scroll down just enough to see the next line: “In Progress, Seoul, SO-IL, South Korea.” Obviously this art center was not in Southern Illinois, it was in South Korea, and probably has nothing to do with Southern Illinois at all. The name should have clued me in from the beginning, Kukje Art Center, probably not something you would find around this area, but you never know. Anyway I was fouled into a split second of excitement.
After a slight feeling of disappointment I still had to investigate a little further. What was SO-IL, the architect? So what did SO-IL stand for, obviously not Southern Illinois? SO-IL is a New York based firm, and SO-IL stands for ‘Solid Objectives –Idenburg Liu.’ Mostly an idea based firm, they have done work all over the world. The web page is pretty interesting, and they have done some pretty interesting work. The projects are divided into four categories, live, play, work, and reflect. Most of the work they do is in an urban setting which may be beneficial for some of us grad students to check out, as we are trying to define some of these spaces in our projects now.
In the end I suppose I could not be too disappointed, although it would have been cool to see a project in Southern Illinois featured on Arch Daily. It did catch my eye and made me check out a project and a firm that I may not have otherwise looked at.