Prominently located adjacent to the capital's main station, Seoul Valley sets a standard for the city's revitalization campaign foregrounded in the pedestrian experience. The mixed-use development combines office, retail, hotel, and residential program within a sprawling public podium that brings renewed urban life to the center of the Seoul.
Rapid urbanization in the 20th century transformed the heart of the ancient capital into a western style business-hub, largely losing the human-scale patchwork of traditional hanok villages and gardens. Seoul Valley merges the two scales, its three-pronged profile on the skyline fragmenting into numerous smaller structures as it descends.
Seoul Valley creates a new retail typology, where back sides are eliminated and an inviting façade track the entire site perimeter. Seoul Valley creates a new retail typology, where back sides are eliminated and an inviting façade track the entire site perimeter.
Our scheme allows visitors to pass through the site as an indoor experience with views to the outdoors or alternatively, as an outdoor stroll that extends Seoullo Bridge and Seosomun Park. This outdoor passage allows access to restaurants and views into the shopping areas, attracting passers by who were not necessarily planning to enter a mall. The multi-levelled podium allows the flexibility for retail shops on different levels to open up their facades for outdoor seating, exhibitions or pop up events. Even retail spaces in the basement will have access and views to daylight, providing an unbroken connection to the complex above.
Three large towers rise from the sprawling public podium, each of them subdivided into smaller masses to reduce the sense of scale and create community between the spaces at ground level. At the ground level, visitors can traverse the site any number of ways, stopping in at shops, cafes, or in the terraced gardens. In fact, the ‘ground’ level is spread over multiple, with gardens, terraces, and courtyards defining the spaces in between the structures.
The urban geography of Seoul combines a topographical layer of valleys and mountains with a built layer of skyscrapers and dense infrastructure.
Seoul Valley responds to this quality by creating an urban landscape that rises and falls like the land it sits on.
The future city needs to perform like a landscape. We want to create a horizontal and vertical experience with roof gardens, green facades and planted walkways, which together create a rich and diverse space, focusing on the welfare and the health of people. Along with brining densification to the heart of the city, Seoul Valley continues the pedestrian path established by the elevated Seoullo bridge directly abutting the site and offers new means of connection within the site and to the city at large.
As the first major scheme selected from a string of planned developments aimed at bringing life back to the center, Seoul Valley sets a precedent for returning the human dimension to the outsized city.