Urban Agency



Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) is one of the leading television and radio networks in South Korea. As the company increasingly expands, MBC decided to relocate the company to the outskirts of Seoul. The old broadcasting building which has performed as a key station during the last 40 years has become obsolete and requires conversion to allow more profitable and beneficial development. The ambitious urban and architectural idea proposed for the former site sets itself the challenge to bring back ‘cultural activities’ into the area and create an authentic and local Yeouido. The site will comprise of buildings falling under three principal programmes: residential, offices, and commercial.Instead of competing for commercial supremacy with other major venues around the MBC, the proposal introduces an urban plaza allowing a coexistence with competitors and will offer a quality outdoor experience similar to a central piazza bringing reading, literature and leisure activities at the proscenium of the new complex. This will reinsert collectivity within the locale and offers a reinterpretation for a more viable model of the contemporary office block and housing complex within South Korea. With the significant though necessary development of Yeouido acute densification is inevitable. Thus, any high-rise masterplan requires clever planning of public spaces which include good light and prospect levels for its inhabitants. A masterplan introduces three strategies for this. The first, by rotating the four towers on the edge of the site internal interference is kept to a minimum while also ensuring a maximum solar and prospect levels. The second, by creating an urban shortcut that traverses the megablock will guide people into the MBC site and internal public spaces. Finally, a sunken terraced arrangement will secure the urban plaza from the building winds ensuring maximum enjoyment and shelter for outdoor activities. By creating quality outdoor spaces within the high-rise towers, the MBC - possibly could have succumbed to a generic real estate future - becomes a pedagogical project presenting a new way of living and working in Far East Asia. In terms of a facade design for these four towers, each building’s is designed differently according to its individual sunshine levels. The northward facade, with a small amount of sunshine, is planned to be wider than its southern counterpart. In consideration of the officetel building, vertical and horizontal voids within its facade gradually transition toward the ground level where retail facilities require wide openings and a welcoming atmosphere. Together with sky gardens in the office and officetel buildings, as well as the apartment tower, exterior gardens are introduced. The high ceilings of setback terraces create a special rhythm and provide shade, rendering a vibrant atmosphere on the apartment tower’s facade. By implementing the same facade design grammar coherently across the residential buildings (officetel), the apartment tower harmonizes well with its counterparts.

Program: Office, Officetel, Apartment, Retail

Size: 190.000 m²/ 49 stories above ground and 6 stories underground

Location: Seoul, South Korea

Client: Munhwa Broadcasting Corporation

Collaborators: Urban Agency, Shinyoung, NH Investment & Securities Co.LTD., GS E&C, Kiahn Architects, Mori Urban Planning, SQ1

Type: Invited

Competition Status: Competition 1st Prize

Team: Heechan Park, Henning Stüben, Minjae Kwon, Rosa Fuentes Fernandez, Jiyoon Gu, Jakub Śmiech, Zoe Tzika

Urban Agency


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