Ecorium at the National Ecology Center opens

The Ecorium is a newly built ecological educational and research center in Seocheon, South Korea. Guided by principles of reducing, reusing, and recycling, the Ecorium provides a hands-on educational experience to study nature’s converging ecosystems while ensuring the safety, stability and harmonious coexistence of humans and nature. The large-scale environmental center contains a wild plant area, a wetland reserve, and four interlocking wedge shaped greenhouses which serve as indoor biomes.

During the conceptual design phase, Atelier Ten worked closely with Grimshaw Architects to identify performance goals and strategies for the project’s envelope, advanced energy conserving systems, daylight optimization, and water reuse. To achieve a balance of comfort for plants and visitors while reducing energy use, Atelier Ten recommended a solution that uses tempered air through earth ducts coupled with ground source heat pumps, and misting to increase humidity levels where necessary. In addition, electricity provided by on-site renewable generation further reduces carbon emissions. Atelier Ten also analyzed daylight levels within the greenhouses and helped tune the façade design to ensure healthy plants without undue solar heat gain. The project also has the potential to substantially reduce potable water use by using efficient fixtures, capturing, filtering, and storing stormwater that falls onsite, and storing and re-using greywater.

Atelier Ten’s team includes Director, Nico Kienzl and Associate, Emilie Hagen from the New York office. Additionally, Atelier Ten’s London office provided MEP concept design support for the project.