Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Dream Hub Yongsan IBD in Seoul, South Korea by Studio Daniel Libeskind
July 7th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Studio Daniel Libeskind
The site for the Yongsan International Business District is strategically and symbolically located within the heart and soul of Seoul, Korea’s historic capital city and is bordered by the picturesque Nam Mountains to the northeast, the majestic Han River to the southwest, and the extensive Yongsan Park to the east. The Master Plan is designed to take advantage of the perfectly positioned and inspiring site which, according to Feng Shui, has the most desirable orientation with the river in front of the site and the mountains behind. Studio Daniel Libeskind is working with Yongsan Development, Co., Inc. on this project.
Archipelago 21 offers an innovative approach to large scale urban design within a dense city. The main concept is a simple and bold. The site is broken into “islands” – distinct forms that together create a composition in the landscape. Outside the islands, the site is developed into a generous natural landscape which acts as the “sea” connecting the islands together. The islands become distinct neighborhoods with their own unique program area, character, community and atmosphere. Although they are distinct and human scaled, together the islands create a wonderfully diverse, active, vibrant city life. These island neighborhoods break down the overall density and mass of the large urban development to create a pedestrian scale that is at once exciting, livable and pleasant.
Like the yin and the yang, the site balances dualities and seemingly opposing forces that are forever connected together, intertwined and interdependent – history and the future, technology and nature, urban and the suburban, vibrant city life and tranquil private settings. The opposing energies of the natural and the built environment interweave to create an organic duality of interdependent forces acting together as one. Like the urban islands, the intertwining landscape also has distinct and varied qualities of its own with intimate and civic gardens, formal and organic plantings, paved urban parks and lush green natural landscapes. The creation of many islands maximizes the “coastline” to nature, increasing the quality and value of the property. The conceptual idea of the island arrangement allows for maximum freedom of development in the future. A master plan must allow for growth development and organic transformation to survive and be successful into the future.
Instead of simply animating the riverside, the master plan actually organically shapes the edge of the waterfront to create an amenity and an attraction. The shaped edge also creates and icon, image and virtual address for the site. The development’s largest open spaces spill out onto this new edge along the Han River creating a vibrant natural landscape. The large park actually grows into the site creating an effect of a widened river edge. Instead of privatizing the water front development, the river edge remains public and accessible to residents, workers, visitors and tourists. Its size and design create the feeling that all the buildings are set out along the river maximizing views and natural vistas.
The Archipelago 21 massing composition creates sparking jeweled crown on the skyline. Inspired by the Golden Crown of Silla, a uniquely Korean treasure: precious and delicate, rare and expressive, representative of Korea but universally known and revered. The Master Plan speaks to the city and symbolizes the development as a whole. Most importantly, this urban gesture allows for flexibility in the future and is not dependent upon a singular architectural design, but on a symbolic, unifying idea. The golden crown, as an urban form, is strong enough to be complimented by a collection of multiple architects, corporate identities and retail branding. There is room for individual expression within the urban form that will act as the sparkling jewels adorning the urban crown.
The creation of the Yongsan IBD is an unprecedented opportunity to create an exemplary model of sustainable living for the 21st century. A new urban neighborhood will be founded that incorporates best practices in smart urban design, low-impact development and green building. The site will be transformed into a vibrant, livable district and international destination, where green transportation frames access and mobility and the development on the site speaks to an environmentally sustainable future while still respecting the great history of the Korean people. Once a barrier between neighborhoods, Yongsan IBD will create a new community that links adjacent communities into a cohesive whole and offer new opportunities to access the waterfront. Innovative technologies and forward-looking approaches will be employed to optimize the use of natural resources and support the creation of closed-loop systems. From contamination to liquefaction to climate change, risks will be addressed proactively to create a place that is healthy and safe for residents, workers and visitors now and in the decades to come.
This cohesive community of energetic urban districts and calmer open spaces includes generous parks along the Han River and above the existing railroad, and an alluring formal identity contrasting with the surrounding city yet an integral part of it. The project will achieve much more than a maximization of development profit. Operating 24/7 as a global business headquarters and international hub of culture and communication, attracting residents and visitors worldwide, Yongsan IBD will represent the key component of plans to revitalize the city and region. Equally important, its livability will sustain the development far into the future. Constructed wetlands, green roofs, fields of solar panels, and other strategies for sustainable living are an integral part of the landscape experience for the community.
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Category: Commercial Building