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A Birds eye view of teh Yongsan International Business District masterplan

A Bird's eye view of the Yongsan International Business District masterplan

A few weeks ago it was announced that Daniel Libeskind (the architect who won the masterplan competition for the 9/11 site in New York City) won the masterplan competition for a 57 hectare riverside site in Seoul, South Korea. It is aiming to be a center of international business is Seoul, and so is called the ‘dream hub’ The developers will start US$20  billion project  in 2011 and  complete the 3+ million m2 of space by 2024. The developers wanted one landmark skyscraper (640m) and 11 other commercial buildings (between 20-70  floors) and a further 7 residential/commercial buildings  (20-50 stories).

The main concept is:  The site is broken into “islands” – distinct forms that together create a 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 city life.  These island neighborhoods break down the overall density and mass of the large urban development to create a pedestrian scale….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…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…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.

More on the winning design can be seen at Libeskind’s website the website of the developer. Four other architecture firms were in the short list, but did not win: Asymptote (with Hargreaves Associates), Foster + Partners, Jerde Partnership, and  Skidmore Owings and Merrill. You can see their designs at the  Dreamhub website. World Architecture News says the five architects were given US$ 1 million to refine their first designs.