Traditional, yet contemporary!
The Korean Heritage Room combines 14th century Korean culture and modern technology.
The room is inspired by Myeongnyundang, Hall of Enlightenment, the main lecture hall of Sungkyunkwan, the Royal Academy which was built in 1603-1604 during King Sunjo’s reign of the Joseon Dynasty in the capital city, Seoul. The Royal Academy was Korea’s foremost institution of higher education and produced many elite scholars. Today, Myeongnyundang remains a prominent historic monument. As a reminder of Korea’s rich history of educational endeavors, the Korean Heritage Room is modeled after the main lecture hall.
Figure A is an illustration of Crown Prince Hyomyeong’s first day in Sungkyunkwan in 1817. It took place in Myeongnyundang. While Crown Prince Hyomyeong bows to his head master, other students and royal guests stand in the courtyard. Even today, the place is used for special ceremonial events.
The Korean Heritage Room reflects the core aesthetic principle of Korea’s traditional architecture, the beauty and harmony of the lines provided by traditional wooden beams, pillars, and ceilings. All the building materials were procured and crafted in Korea, and shipped to Pittsburgh. Korean carpenters and painters – all specialists in traditional Korean architecture – flew to Pittsburgh to reassemble them over the summer of 2015.
While the room showcases the aesthetics of Korea’s traditional architecture, it is equipped with cutting-edge teaching technology, including a 82” Samsung smart HD LCD monitor that has voice recognition. It is also furnished with free-standing desks and chairs to maximize the convenience for usage of laptops or notebooks.
No nails were used in this room. Each element was securely fitted to one another with wooden pins and brackets.
Placed at the center peak of the ceiling are two carved wooden phoenixes. Chasing the pearl of wisdom, they symbolize Korea’s rich history of educational endeavors.