Clayarch Gimhae Museum
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GNI Architects & Engineers / Republic of Korea

Dynamic architecture touched by a potter’s spirit

Since the ancient Gaya era (1st century BCE–mid-6th century CE) to the modern times Gimhae, where Clayarch Gimhae Museum is located, was a major producer of Gaya earthenware, Buncheong (traditional Korean bluish-green stoneware), and local white porcelain. In the 1970s, a pottery village formed naturally maintained the area’s reputation. Clayarch Gimhae Museum was planned with the purpose of creating artistic synergy through the combination of ceramics, architecture, and local tradition, and was named by combining “clay” and “architecture.” As such, the architect who designed the museum worked under the concept of embodying the unique lines of Gaya earthenware, the colors of Buncheong and the artisan spirit of ancient potters from the ancient Gaya era.

The most distinctive feature of the museum is the approximately 4,400 ceramic tiles on the exterior. They are all hand-made using a unique technique called “fired painting” whereby tiles are burned four to five times at 1,250°C. Tiles made using this technique have sufficient durability and fire resistance to be used as building materials. In addition, the colors and patterns of these tiles are as vivid as paintings, adding to the beauty of the museum.

The tiles were made by Sang-ho Shin, the museum's first director, and each being unique and distinctive, they were considered as the first artwork in the museum’s collection. Clayarch is both a ceramic artwork and a painting in and of itself. 

The museum is comprised of two exhibition halls—Dome House and Cubic House— the Ceramic Creative Center studio, which operates artist residency programs; the Clay Academy, where visitors can make their own pottery pieces; the Art-Kitchen with mosaic tile classes; and the Clayarch Tower, a landmark.

TIP : Take a Gimhae city tour bus ( tour.web) and visit historic sites from the ancient Geumgwan Gaya era (1st century–6th century) as well as the Clayarch Gimhae Museum.
Location : 275-51 Jillye-ro Jillye-myeon, Gimhae-si, Gyeongsangnam-do
Telephone : 055-340-7000
How to go : Taxi (30mins) from Gimhae Bus Terminal, or taxi (15mins) from KTX Jinyeong Station
Operating hours : 10:00–18:00 (Closed on Mondays, Jan 1, and Seollal & Chuseok holidays)
Admission Fees : 2,000won


Gimhae Buncheong Ceramics Museum
Gimhae National Museum
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