Yongsan International Business District, Seoul, South Korea

Location: Seoul, South Korea
Client: Yongsan Development, Dreamhub Project Financial Investment
Architect: Studio Daniel Libeskind (masterplan, R1, B2-1), BIG (R4b), MVRDV (R4a), Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture (B4)
Size: 87 hectares
Status: In Planning

The site for the Yongsan International Business District and Landmark Tower is strategically and symbolically located within the heart of Seoul, Korea’s historic capital city. Bordered by the picturesque Nam Mountains to the northeast, the majestic Han River to the southwest, and the extensive Yongsan Park to the east, the project also incorporates a major regional transportation hub and represents a central link in the long string of current development plans comprising the Hangang Renaissance Project. Design solutions responding to the inherent cultural significance of surrounding amenities, and to the site’s crucial connections to the wider city and region, were essential to the success of this global model for economic and cultural vitality.

The Yongsan project’s links to its local, regional and global context filter into the development itself, create a cohesive environment for life, work, and recreation. Business, Commercial, Residential, Cultural, and Recreational “islands,” while maintaining distinct characters, are knitted together into a sinuous archipelago that strengthens and enlivens each of them as part of one vibrant community. Vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian circulation, a unified system of water elements, and a bold planting scheme reinforce the intertwining of the zones themselves into a network of interconnected spaces.

This cohesive community of energetic urban districts and calmer open spaces includes generous parks along the Han River and above the existing railroad, and an alluring formal identity contrasting with the surrounding city yet an integral part of it. The project will achieve much more than a maximization of development profit. Operating 24/7 as a global business headquarters and international hub of culture and communication, attracting residents and visitors worldwide, Yongsan will represent the key component of plans to revitalize the city and region. Equally important, its livability will sustain the development far into the future. Constructed wetlands, green roofs, fields of solar panels, and other strategies for sustainable living will be an integral part of the landscape experience and thus a daily learning experience for the community. However, these sustainability strategies will reach their full potential only in a vigorous, captivating environment.