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SEOUL | Yongsan | Development News


clock03-29-2010, 12:09 AM
Yorum: #1
Star architects bid to design new center for South Korean capital as 21st century model city

3 July 2008



SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - An all-star group of international architects bidding for the chance to design a new urban center for the South Korean capital said Tuesday the vast site offered a rare chance to create a model for 21st century cities.



Five top architecture firms behind many of the world's recent iconic structures are being given US$1 million each to propose a master plan for the 28 trillion won (US$27 billion) Yongsan business district.



Covering 140 acres (566,800 square meters) near the bank of the Han River, the site is nearly nine times as large as New York's World Trade Center site, which is being rebuilt after the Sept. 11 attacks.



Nina Libeskind, partner at Studio Daniel Libeskind and the wife of the firm's eponymous architect -- who designed the new World Trade Center plan -- said the Korean project was the largest the firm had bid on and would "create a 21st century paradigm of living."



"It is the soul of Seoul," she said.



Construction at the Yongsan site, currently a railyard, is scheduled to start in 2011 and be completed by 2016. The project includes funding from the Samsung Group and the National Pension Service.



The site is near the current South Korean headquarters for the U.S. military, which is expected to move to a new base south of Seoul by 2012. The former military grounds are to be turned into a Central Park-like attraction as part of the city's long-overdue facelift.



Seoul is not known for its architecture, and bland cookie-cutter apartment high-rises clog the skyline. In the haste to rebuild the country from the ashes of the Korean War that ended in 1953, more emphasis was placed on quick development than beauty.



"Architecturally, nobody thought about the quality of the space ... because our growth was too fast," said Rah WooChun, a local architect involved in the Yongsan project.



"It's time for the people of Seoul to have a real place, have a real center," said John Simones, design director of The Jerde Partnership, which worked on Tokyo's acclaimed Roppongi Hills.



The architects are being given wide rein for their proposals, due at the end of October, which are to include a landmark tower with no height limit along with office space, hotels, residences and entertainment facilities.



The competitors also include U.S.-based firms Asymptote Architecture and Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP, along with Britain's Foster and Partners.
clock07-07-2012, 05:59 PM
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