18 January 2022

Heatherwick Studio proposes public waterfront site for Seoul  

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We are delighted to be part of a team selected by the Seoul Metropolitan Government to create a new sports and cultural district for the city.

A consortium led by Hanwha Group, HDC Group, and Hana Financial Investment – and also featuring design firms Benoy, Populous, dA Architecture Group and NOW Architects – has been named the preferred bidder to develop the Jamsil Sports–MICE Complex around Seoul’s iconic Olympic stadium.

As part of the submission, we have designed a dynamic new open and public space on the waterfront, linking the wider scheme with the Han River and promoting ideas of community spirit, activity, equality, play and togetherness.

The design concept, named The Leaf, envisions a floating, multi-level pier. Undulating surfaces rise and fall to create a walkable roofscape, with winding trails meandering across, around and above water gardens, play areas, observation points, a flexible event space and auditorium, and a marina for water taxis and leisure craft.

“At the heart of our project is the idea of playful togetherness. We want this to be a refreshing and dynamic new civic space for the city of Seoul where people come to laugh, explore and connect. Somewhere joyful and restorative for everyone,” said Stuart Wood, Partner and Group Leader at Heatherwick Studio.

You can read the government’s official announcement about the project here.

The Leaf continues our explorations into publicly focused waterfront amenities. We have previously designed Little Island, a 2.4-acre urban park and performance venue situated above the Hudson River in New York. In 2020, we proposed The Cove – a conceptual vision for San Francisco’s Piers 30-32, incorporating a new waterfront ecological park and community hub.

Photo Credit: Devisual