Beautiful residential redevelopment project hopes to sustainably revitalize a historic industrial district in this city’s urban core

On September 7, 2021, the architects at Rotterdam-based KCAP updated the design for the 312,500 square meter Sewoon Grounds redevelopment and revitalization project in Seoul, South Korea.

The regeneration project aims to transform Sewoon District #4 into a sustainable mixed-use area including offices, retail, and urban industry.

The design proposes a dynamic multi-dimensional district that enhances the urban quality and provides harmonic integration with the unique historical context.

In 2017, KCAP won the international design competition regarding the transformation of Seoul’s Sewoon District #4, an area characterized by its cultural heritage, urban industry and the existing historical structures.

As associate partner at KCAP, Hyeri Park, says “With Sewoon Grounds, we want to balance between history and future, urban industry and urban creative lives, massing and open spaces. Our design update could evolve a demolition-based redevelopment into regeneration and urban transformation with the least social risk at the same time to make a maximum public benefit.

This porous publicly stacked urban agglomeration, which we call “Sewoon Grounds” will create new urban quality based on the old and existing values. We designed an urban grounds, not just a building,” he added.

Here’s how KCAP describes their design:

The design proposal focuses on a subtle integration of the building mass in the surrounding context, good modulation, and accessibility to create flexible combinations of units.

It fosters an active connection to the preexistence. So it responds to future demands and generates lasting place-making by preserving historic traces and buildings, like the neighboring mixed-use complex Sewoon Sangga (Arcade), a testament to modern Korean architecture by prominent architect Kim Swoo-geun, built between 1967-1972.

The design strategies include the re-creation of the “Seoul grid” deriving from the existing street network as a unique urban development method. The exhibition of the archaeological relics on the basement level, a “Memory Ground”, promotes the harmonious coexistence of the past and present.

To encourage a sustainable development of the urban industrial eco-system, supporting anchor activities are located throughout the building. The “Breeding Ground” acts as a platform for urban industry and is connected to the Sewoon Arcade.

The “Flying Ground” at the top adds new program and will be related to the Sewoon Roof. The “Sky Ground” is added by the design update to secure the public view towards Jongmyo UNESCO World Heritage.

Thanks to the connection of the multi-layered urban context in a three-dimensional way, the proposal offers a dynamic multi-dimensional city vertically accumulated in space and time. Sewoon Grounds respects the cultural heritage while developing a people-oriented urban design that stimulates urban craftsmanship in Seoul.

All images courtesy of KCAP.

See KCAP website.

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