Upon approach, TERRA FIRMA is a massive block of earth lifted from its surroundings in a rare feat of seismology, revealing its complex and layered history. It is contextual, literally made from its context, but its form undermines our understanding of contextual.

TERRA FIRMA is a rectangular pavilion which folds in upon itself, finally expressing the deceptive thinness of its massive walls on the interior.

Reaching the rear of the pavilion a portal becomes visible, upending the notion of the folly as solid. It is occupiable. A light emerges from the end of the passageway, implying space within. The roof of the passageway is the first indication of the impossibly thin nature of the sculpture’s construction.

TERRA FIRMA is comprised of eight planes. Each is 1 1/2” thick, a mixture of soil from the site and polyester resin, which acts as a binding agent and gives structural integrity to the soil. Solid steel bars reinforce the central axis of the long spans from overturning and longitudinal deflection. A steel base plate and concrete footing anchors the entire structure and is hidden from view.

The sculpture appears massive, but is impossibly thin. It appears solid, but is empty.

It is filled with only the light and the life of its occupants.

Client: Moran Museum of Art (South Korea)

Program: Cultural, Pavilion

Status: Complete

Size: 360 SF

Location: Namyangju, South Korea

Architect: KM,A (Kyle May) and Dillon Wilson

Images: KM,A