MVRDV Wins Competition to Reimagine Seoul’s Waterfront

MVRDV has won the competition to redesign the Tancheon Valley and Seoul’s waterfront. Called “The Weaves”, the design was made to knit together pedestrian and bicycle paths, the natural landscapes, and public amenities. Commissioned by the government of Seoul, the design introduces a combination of natural and human activity in the midst of the city.

MVRDV Wins Competition to Reimagine Seoul’s Waterfront - More Images+ 14

The Weaves. Image Courtesy of MVRDV

As MVRDV states, the project is located between Seoul’s former Olympic Stadium in the Jamsil district and the central business district in Gangnam. Transforming both the waterfront of the Tancheon River and the Han River, the central concept aims to intertwine three aspects of the landscape: natural ecosystems, access for pedestrians, and elements of public program where activities can take place.

The Weaves. Image Courtesy of MVRDV

The team goes on to explain the three aspects of the design. “The first step in this plan was to return the river to a more naturalistic state, replacing hard landscaping with lush green riverbanks, and changing the river from a straight canal to a meandering stream. The second part is the development of a network of winding interconnected paths that allow easy pedestrian access throughout the waterfront, creating opportunities for visitors to encounter the natural ecology in a variety of ways. The third element of the design, the park’s public program, mixes with paths knotting themselves into a plaza, rising above the landscape to form a viewing point, an amphitheater, or forming the roof for cafés and other amenities.”

The Weaves. Image © Atchain
© Atchain

A central aspect of the project is a pedestrian bridge connecting the Gangnam district to the Olympic Park. A bundle of paths rise up from the river below to form a crossing that incorporates a viewing platform, a small tribune, and a media floor. “Seoul is taking amazing steps to transform grey and obsolete infrastructure into lively green and social spaces”, says MVRDV founding partner Winy Maas. “The Weaves is a design that introduces natural landscape combined with exceptional, varied access. It also responds to the local identity. Jamsil is known for its history of silk production and the design recalls the tangled silk threads of its past in a unique and playful way. It becomes an intertwining poem where movement becomes landscape poetry.”

The Weaves was completed with NOW Architect working as the local co-architect and Seoahn Total Landscape Architecture. Construction is expected to begin in 2021, with completion planned for 2024.

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Cite: Eric Baldwin. "MVRDV Wins Competition to Reimagine Seoul’s Waterfront" 11 Dec 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

The Weaves. Image Courtesy of MVRDV


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