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Competition: Gangnam Intermodal Transit Centre, Seoul

The Seoul Metropolitan Government has announced an international contest – judged by David Chipperfield – for a new 1.2 trillion KRW transport hub in Gangnam (Deadline: 21 June)

Open to teams of architects, urban planners, civil engineers and transport consultants – the competition seeks ‘creative and innovative’ proposals for a 150,000m² subterranean mass-transit hub under Youngdongdaero boulevard (pictured) within Seoul’s popular Gangnam District.

The winner of the 15 billion KRW design contract will draw up plans for a new mixed-use complex featuring an integrated railway and bus station alongside car parking and new public and retail spaces. Planned to complete in 2023, the project will be constructed beneath a linear 56,000㎡ site located between Samseong Subway Station and Bongeunsa Subway Station.

Gangnam, Seoul

Gangnam, Seoul

Source: Image by Joop

Gangnam, Seoul

According to the brief: ‘The goal is to establish a global communication and exchange centre at Youngdongdaero, which is already planned as the site where six metropolitan railway lines will converge, by developing the area into a mass transportation hub and multi-purpose people-centred space.

‘The project site is a major artery that moves and connects the flow of traffic to and from Gangnam to the northern part of the Han River. All public transportation, such as taxis and buses, travel on this 70-metre wide boulevard. In addition to being a main thoroughfare, at times, traffic is blocked in order to transform this space into an urban piazza, making room for street parades, K-Pop concerts, and other major events.’

Located in south Seoul, Gangnam is one of the 25 districts which make up the South Korean capital. The wealthy area is home to around 527,641 residents and is well known due to the music video ‘Gangnam Style’ by artist Psy which was filmed locally.

The prominent Youngdongdaero boulevard connects Samseong Subway Station and Bongeunsa Subway Station and features a number of underground shopping malls and car parks. Nearby landmarks within the emerging Seoul International District include the COEX convention centre and trade tower, and the Jamsil Sports Complex.

The new transit hub will bring together six railway lines which converge in the area and is expected to occupy up to six levels below street level. Between three and seven teams will be invited to participate in the competition following an open call for applications.

Contest site: Gangnam, Seoul

Contest site: Gangnam, Seoul

Contest site: Gangnam, Seoul

Bids will be assessed 50 per cent on team composition, 15 per cent on prior experience of similar projects and 35 per cent on the design concept. The competition languages are English and Korean.

Judges include David Chipperfield, principal of David Chipperfield Architects; University of Seoul professor Youngchan Kim; and Haeseong Je, chair of Korea’s National Architectural Policy Committee.

Three to seven teams will be shortlisted following an RFQ and will then be invited to submit design proposals for the contest’s second stage. The final winner, to be announced on 20 October, will be first in line for the project’s estimated 15 billion KRW design contract. Six shortlisted teams will also receive an honorarium worth 100 million KRW each.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 5pm local time, 21 June

Contact details

Email: GangnamITC@daum.net

Visit the competition website and select English in top left corner for more information

Union Station case study: Q&A with Vincent Chang

The group managing partner at Grimshaw discusses lessons learned designing an overhaul of Union Station in Los Angeles

Vincent Chang

Vincent Chang

Vincent Chang

How will your Union Station project deliver a new inter-model hub and regenerate its surroundings in LA?

Los Angeles Union Station is, itself, a national historic landmark, sited on a 42-acre parcel with many uses. Grimshaw’s Master Plan for the station leverages the station’s location, adjacent to downtown and at the confluence of numerous rail and bus lines, to create a 21st century urban hub that properly mixes density and open space to create a great environment no matter how you’re using the station and its amenities. As the plan is implanted, improvements will make Union Station more of a destination rather than someplace people simply pass through.

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

Which architectural, material, structural and other methods did you harness in your design?

The primary driver of the Master Plan is the user experience – how people navigate the station, what amenities they find there and how easy it is to move about. By focusing on people, we’ve created not only a viable financial model for land usage, but a plan that’s also infused with public space and access to light and air. The architecture of the historic station is indicative of the styles and fusion of cultures that have converged in Los Angeles, and this master plan is a great opportunity to honour the city’s history.

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

What advice would you have to bidding teams on designing a new intermodal hub in Gangnam?

Over time, Grimshaw has found it essential to understand the possible synergies between the station and nearby neighbourhoods, both immediately adjacent and not. Thorough investigations into the surrounding districts and their evolutions can be instructive about the character and culture of a place, ultimately leading to planning and architecture that is both effective and appropriate at all scales, from city to neighbourhood to station. Master plans can be characterized by grand gestures, but it’s important to give just as much attention to the edges of the site and the ways in which it meets the neighbourhood.

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

Union Station by Grimshaw

 

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