Vincent Callebaut Architectures have developed a design plan reimagining the riverbank of Yeouhido Park, Seoul. The park is envisioned as an experimental urban space dedicated to sustainable development through a series of interventions - including a floating ferry terminal. Named the “Manta Ray,” the ambition of the proposal is to transform the park into an ecological forest of trees, enhancing its natural irrigation and strengthening the banks from floods. The “permeable landscaping” seeks to reduce floods and rehabilitate urban ecosystems that have become fragmented through Seoul’s rapid built expansion. The vegetation-dominated strategy also seeks to reduce the urban “heat island” effect Seoul has been experiencing due to climate change over the past decades.
Seoul is finding new ways to invest in this kind of soft infrastructure, helping to foster social cohesion with a greater sense of community among diverse socio-economic groups. With an eye toward increasing equitable access for everyone to these new facilities, this floating vessel is an example of biophilic and resilient architecture, demonstrating that it is possible to build with nature rather than against it, by respecting the life of the river and allowing the local fauna and flora to flourish – Vincent Callebaut Architectures.
Dubbed as the 4 “cores” of interventions, the landscaping plan consists of a floating ferry terminal, landscaping of the riverbank, development of the upper ground and a cultural complex, which will host a science center for children.
The bio-designed “Manta-Ray” ferry terminal will host a complex set of sustainable design strategies. Devised to cater to boats ranging from water taxis to cruise ships, the terminal is built as a web of floating piers. Floating dikes along its docks link together, protecting the marina from water currents as well as offering panoramic views of the river. The piers integrate technical equipment inside double floors, supplying boats with energy (water and electricity) and biofuels. The docking and platforms are secured by a network of chains, which anchor the ferry to the bottom of the river with 26 concrete slabs.
Honeycomb columns made from cross-laminated timber (harvested ecologically from Korean forests) rise above the floating docks, marking the mid-level of the ferry terminal building. The tree-like trunks are hollow, providing stairs, elevators and service facilities inside their trunks while supporting the terminal’s characteristic curved roof. A biofuel plant will provide energy for the equipment through recycling biodegradable waste supplied from Yeouhido Park.
The upper areas of the ferry terminal are directed towards educational and commercial facilities, including food courts, exhibition spaces and the roof’s observation deck. The rooftop, being the program’s landmark garden space will also contain an orchard. 4,4550 square meters of photovoltaic solar panels will be incorporated into the glass façade of the building, with an additional 3,500 square meters of photothermal panels lining its edges. Wind trees positioned on the rooftop will also collect energy via a turbine farm.
This hyperbolic paraboloid rolls out like a soft-slope landscape, inviting passengers and visitors to wander and stroll while offering stunning views of the river - Vincent Callebaut Architectures.
The four projects are linked together by dense vegetation and a cable-stayed pedestrian bridge. The entire “Manta Ray” project seeks to generate 100% of its energy sustainably through the different energy strategies (solar, wind, biomass, hydro) woven into different elements of its program. Materials are bio-sourced, recycled and are recyclable.
Learn more about Manta Ray here.
LocationYeouido Hangang Park, 330 Yeouidong-ro, Yeoui-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Architect in ChargeVincent Callebaut
ClientSeoul Metropolitan Government
PhotographsCourtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures
News via: Vincent Callebaut Architectures.
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