This year Urban Agency was invited to participate in the Seoul Architectural Biennale entitled “City of Mountain ranges, Waterways, and Wind Breezes – Drawing of Seoul’s next 100 years”. Although the city was founded upon the respect for its unique landscape and natural environment, the urban development over the past 100 years has destroyed much of the natural narrative that makes up the city’s true identity.
Accordingly, Urban Agency, along with a handful of other international architectural firms, were challenged to propose land urbanism solutions that examine the figurative, ecological and cultural relationships embedded in the land with an overarching goal to reinstate Seoul as a human-centered and eco-friendly city.
Prompted to create an idealized vision of what Seoul should look like in 100 years, Urban Agency took a focus on the Han River which has over the years been artificially shaped to accommodate arterial roads. These man-made interventions have caused the original unique character of the Han River to be lost and furthermore have accelerated the social and economic separation between the north and south, Gangnam and Gangbuk respectively. The basis of the proposal was thus to re-imagine the Han River not as a boundary but as a new urban space that can be occupied, shared and programmed. To this end, Urban Agency collaborated with Rambøll to propose a “multi-layered complex connection” by extending and reconnecting the north and south shores through accessible platforms, passageways and floating islands. In this way, a new density of urban space is generated in the middle of the river, transforming the Han River into an interactive and inclusive space for people, capable of hosting various programming initiatives, events and public life.
We hope you enjoy our exhibition video.
If you would like to read more about the 4th Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism in Seoul click here.