Urban Agency



Urban Agency has won the master plan competition for the revitalization and redevelopment of the Chonbang & Ilshin textile industrial site into a fully sustainable City for All in Gwangju, South Korea. The overall vision is based on a self-sustainable loop where ecology, economics, people, and infrastructure interact. Priorities include green spaces that promote social interaction, circular systems like rainwater harvesting, short distances and soft transportation modes, mixed-use areas that support diversity and inclusivity, and human-scaled streets and public spaces. The current site is largely disconnected from infrastructure and development so the vision has been to create a 15 minute city where everything is in one place. Accordingly, the high-dense city design is one where where car travel is reduced, physical activity is promoted and essential services and amenities are accessible to all, improving quality of life and reducing social isolation. The vision is realized through the layering of the following 4 strategies:

1) Heritage preservation and reuse: The project sets out to preserve the industrial legacy of the Chonbang & Ilshin textile industrial site by preserving a selection of the industrial buildings and implementing within them new publicly accessible programming, creating diverse opportunities to interact with the history and engage in new productive functions.

2) Green and blue network: A car-free mobility strategy keeps cars on the perimeter, allowing soft modes of transit on the interior of the site to be prioritized. The most prominent aspect of the blue green network is the green loop which serves as a central multi-dimensional circulation route through the site, connecting both sides of the urban core as well as linking the preserved heritage infrastructure.

3) Complex architectural area: Through the implementation of multiple peaks focused along the perimeter of the site, a lower, high-dense central urban core is created. The heart of the district is made up of overlapping functions that offer a range of amenities, services and activities for residents and visitors alike. The multi-dimensionality of the design creates a dynamic core of soft transit flows and connected public spaces.

4) The landmark tower: A symbol of the city’s overall organization and identity, the tower embodies the principles of the mixed-use, diverse district it represents. Accordingly, the tower incorporates a range of functions and programs, each with its own unique floor plan, resulting in the distinct and dynamic shape of the tower. The tower offers interspersed communal areas that function as an urban living room for all.

Program: Industrial transformation / Mixed-use urban plan

Size: 296,340 sqm

Location: Gwangju, South Korea

Client: Chonbang & Ilshin Planning development business operator

Type: Competition winner

Status: Ongoing

Team: Heechan Park, Henning Stuüben, Minjae Kwon, Kristen Van Haeren, Oğuzcan Çavuş, Jieun Kim, Luis Manovel, Andrea Tenuta, Scott Grbavac, Narcisa Ionita, Borja Santurino

Urban Agency


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