The main entrance to the Museum, the Open Plaza, is inspired by Korea's unique traditional housing space, maru("main hall"). Covered by a roof, but with no walls, it is at once an outdoor and an indoor space, where light and shadow intersect and interact to create different ambiences. Open to all visitors, it serves as a gateway to all other points of the museum, including the permanent exhibition hall, the special exhibition gallery, and the staff office.
'Mir' is an old Korean word meaning dragon (龍). The name originated from the place name Yongsan, the location of the museum. The museum garden, which encompasses 'Mir Waterfall', 'Mir Pond', and 'Mir Bridge', creates a space where visitors can glimpse a traditional Korean landscape.
The water flows from 'Mir Waterfall' to the east, and passes through 'Mir Pond' (dragon pond) to arrive at 'Myrtle Pond'.
Botanical Garden for Traditional Dyes
Our ancestors obtained raw materials for beautiful colors from a range of plants. In the Botanical Garden for Traditional Dyes, you can see diverse plants that provide pigments, illustrating our ancestors' wisdom.
Mirror Pond, an oval pond with a maximum diameter of 120 m, is large enough to reflect the Museum building. It is located in front of the Museum. Mirror Pond is designed in accordance with the principles of traditional Korean gardens, which emphasize the harmony between mountain and water.
The Pagoda Garden houses mostly stone relics, such as pagodas, stone lanterns, Buddhist Shrines, and statues not easily accommodated in an indoor space, including the Bell Pavilion (the Great Bell of Bosingak, Treasure of Korea No.2). This garden serves dual functions as a museum garden and an important exhibition hall: many of the items displayed are National Treasures.
(Pavilion with Celadon Roof Tiles)
Cheongjajeong, or the Celadon Pavilion, was erected on Mirror Pond in 2009, as one of the projects commemorating the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first modern museum in Korea. The roof tiles are reproductions of Goryeo celadon giwa(roof tiles) from the 12th century.