ABOUT:

Cho & Urano is an architecture firm in Salt Lake City, Utah providing a full scope of services on projects of various types and sizes, and engaging in architectural research through experiments and theoretical projects.

We started in 2020 after winning an international competition with our project House for Our Mothers. Prior to that we worked in offices in Los Angeles, Beijing, Seoul, San Francisco, and New York.

We approach each project as a continuing investigation into relationships between architecture, structure, and landscape, using sketches, models, and collected images.

Our research has touched on a variety of subjects, including houses, housing, urban design, and infrastructure. It has been exhibited in Seoul, Los Angeles, and New York, as well as at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and has been published internationally in A+U, Shinkenchiku, and others.

BIO:

HANSONG CHO, AIA

hansong@chourano.com
Hansong Cho received a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Seoul and a Master of Architecture from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. She has managed numerous residential and cultural projects in New York for the offices of Kyle May, Toshihiro Oki, and Julian von der Schulenburg. Her personal work has been exhibited at the International Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, the Hunter East Harlem Gallery in New York, and was featured in a retrospective exhibition of Columbia University’s best housing projects produced over a 40-year period. She has served on design juries at RISD, UCLA, USC, and Texas Tech, and is an associate instructor at the University of Utah School of Architecture. Hansong is a licensed architect in the State of Utah.

SASHA URANO

sasha@chourano.com
Sasha Urano grew up in Honolulu and Salt Lake City. He holds a BA in Architectural Studies from UCLA, where he graduated with distinction, and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University. He has worked in a number of offices in the U.S. and Asia including Jones Partners Architecture, MAD, Mass Studies, and IDEO. Prior to co-founding Cho & Urano he spent four years as a project architect at Levenbetts in New York where he managed, among other things, a winning competition proposal for a public sculpture in Lower Manhattan and the renovation of a public library in Brooklyn. He has served on design juries at UCLA, USC, and Texas Tech, and is an associate instructor at the University of Utah School of Architecture.

NEWS:

  • Center for Bees featured in the Salt Lake Tribune, May 2023
  • Cho & Urano Receive Honorable Mention in Namdo Righteous Army History Museum Competition, 2022
  • House with a Corner Eave Wins Runner-Up Prize in Empowered Living Design Competition, 2021
  • Three Wall House and House with a Corner Eave Exhibited at AIA Utah Empowered Living Design Awards Ceremony, 2021
  • Salt Lake City Office Opened, June 2021
  • House for Our Mothers Published in A+U No. 592
  • House for Our Mothers Published in Shinkenchiku 2020:01
  • House for Our Mothers Awarded First Prize in Shinkenchiku Residential Design Competition, 2020





NAMDO MUSEUM





Principal Use: Museum, Public Park, Film Set
Project Site: Namdo, South Korea
Site Area: 363,690 sq m.
Total Floor Area:
8,300 sq m.
Design Period: 2022.04-05
Host: Jeollanam-do
Competition Result: Honorable Mention
A highly site-specific museum dedicated to the Righteous Army, a civilian militia credited with defending Korea against numerous invasions throughout its history.
...

In the age of the organic light-emitting diode screen all the world’s eyes are on South Korean technology, literally, with Samsung and LG screens installed in almost every smartphone on the planet. The logging, registering, chronicling of stories, personalities, artifacts, and events, as well as the curation and dissemination of this information is done through screens—portable, personal, private … And if our obsession with screens was not already cemented before the COVID-19 pandemic, years of lockdown have shown that screens allow us to do more in a virtual space than we previously thought possible, which has only helped to nudge our collective practices further in that direction.

Meanwhile, the museum as an institution remains faithful to its mission—i.e. logging, registering, and chronicling of stories, personalities, artifacts, events—and curating and disseminating this information to the public in a shared, collective space. On one hand, the very idea of investing resources toward the construction of a physical museum appears to be at odds with current and foreseeable trends in our screen-obsessed culture, suggesting the museum’s gradual, inevitable death. New museums, risking all-out irrelevance in the face of unstoppable technological change, make little attempt to reinvent themselves. They repackage the traditional model, turning the brief into an exciting new form, making another contribution to the canon of photogenic architecture. On the other hand, even the most optimistic among us know that the traditional museum experience, when passed through the filter of screen technology, is only capable of producing a thin approximation of the real thing.

Faced with two undesirable alternatives, the museum stands to reclaim territory lost to the screen, but how, and at what cost? Unless it fully embraces its role as a repository of artifacts while vigorously orchestrating the simultaneous interaction of geographic place and digital mediation, its dedication to the artifact will compromise its own plausibility at the moment of potential climax.

Our approach is based on two initial objectives:

1) To create a museum experience that is physically rich and unique to its geographic situation. Given the potential for spatial experiences afforded by the site’s complex topography, access for people of all physical ability levels is paramount. Therefore, the Museum provides universal access to every point on the site through a network of paved pathways whose slope never exceeds a 1:12 rise-to-run ratio.

2) To find an architectural character for the museum in the period drama film sets that currently occupy the site, thus imbuing the museum with the patriotic spirit in which the film and TV productions were made, and contributing to a sense of place.


In a traditional museum, space is dense and ordered. One moves from room to room, perhaps resting in a chair to contemplate one artifact before moving on to the next, and so on, until the mind grows tired and it is time to leave. Thus denied the opportunity for meaningful reflection, one’s experience is stunted. The new Namdo Museum provides ample space for reflection and contemplation, where the mind can be open to making connections with the landscape and the world beyond—a purposeful rhythm of tension and compression. The chair of the traditional museum is far removed from the exhibit, and as the visitor ambles through the forest, looking out over the plain, river, and mountains beyond—largely unchanged since the days when the Righteous Army first gazed upon them—he imagines all the more vividly those people’s lives, their patriotism, and the sacrifices they made to protect their homeland.
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