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Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Korea, South Architecture News - Nov 30, 2020 - 15:54   7913 views

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen has won a competition to design a mixed-use complex in Seoul, South Korea

Called Seoul Valley, a new development is aimed to merge "human-scale design into the sprawling metropolis of Seoul, creating a dense, urban heart to match the capital city’s cosmopolitan identity."

Covering a 360,600-square-metre area, the new project is located in the center of Seoul and will combine office, retail, hotel, and residential program within a sprawling public podium, the design's aim is to renew urban life and bring greenery back to the center of the Seoul. 

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image © Proloog

"For well over a decade, Seoul has been actively working to revitalize its urban fabric, focusing on the spaces between buildings and the pedestrian links," explained Jacob Kurek, Partner at Henning Larsen. 

"Seoul Valley fits into that vision, promising to bring public life back to the center not just through shops and amenities but through a design that focuses on public comfort, greenery, and local tradition."

The Valley's three large towers subdivide into smaller masses to reduce the sense of scale and create community between the spaces at ground level. 

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image © Proloog

On the ground level, which is spread over multiple, will contain gardens, terraces, and courtyards defining the spaces in between the shops, cafes, and restaurants.

Seoul Valley is located in the flat center, sandwiched between the sprawling rail yards of Seoul Station and an 8- lane freeway leading to the city’s central Jung-gu District. 

Though centrally-located, infrastructural barriers have long isolated the long-empty 28,600-square-metre site from its surroundings.

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image courtesy of Henning Larsen

"Our design for Seoul Valley aims to bring a village-like atmosphere to the heart of development, merging the scale of the city and the more comfortable scale of neighborhoods," said Henning Larsen

"By dissolving the scale at the public levels, we not only make it feel more livable, but nod towards the beautiful structures of old Seoul," said Kurek. 

"Our hope is for Seoul Valley to become a home to not just high end shops but also craftsmen and artisans."

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image © Proloog

Henning Larsen's proposal will reinvent retails spaces and prioritize the visitor experience. The design employs an ‘inside out’ retail scheme that prioritizes visitor experience over sheer commercial frontage. In particular, Valley acts as an urban shortcut between the main station, Seoullo 7017 Skygarden and Seosomun Park.

This outdoor passage allows access to restaurants and views into the shopping areas, attracting passersby who were not necessarily interested in or planning to enter a mall.

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image courtesy of Henning Larsen

"As an industry, we’ve known for a long time the benefits of daylight, exterior views, greenery…but such benefits are often pushed to the side in favor of maximizing frontage in commercial design," continued Kurek.

"Shopping in the future won’t necessarily be about coming out of the shop with a bag, so our goal with Seoul Valley was to have both."

Henning Larsen's design meets the goals of Seoul’s 2030 plan for urban development in the Korean capital which sets ambitious goals: to establish a people oriented, culturally vibrant, historic, safe, and communal Seoul.

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image © Proloog

"Seoul Valley aims to meet these goals and then some, creating a comfortable and vibrant living room for locals and visitors, shoppers and workers, streamers and influencers alike."

The project will enter the Schematic Design phase in the spring of 2021.

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Image courtesy of Henning Larsen

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Henning Larsen wins competition to design mixed-use complex in Seoul

Project facts

Project name: Seoul Valley

Project location: Seoul, South Korea

Client: Hanwha Construction

GFA: 360,644 m² (3,881,940 ft²); 245,800m² above ground + 102,300m² underground

Site Area: 28,600m² (307,848ft²)

Typology: Mixed-use; office, retail, hotel, residential

Team – Competition Phase: Henning Larsen

Partner Responsible: Jacob Kurek

Lead Design Architect: Nina La Cour Sell

Team, architecture (alphabetically by first name): Alice Lemaire, Annelie Sandfeld, Elin Fritz, Jakob Strømann-Andersen, Kritika Kharbanda, Lydia Madsen, Mathias Sønderskov Schaltz, Michael Gloudeman, Rasmus Thomas Larsen, Tomas Bueri

Local Architect: Siaplan

Retail Consultant: Benoy

Top image © Proloog

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